Hoàng Thanh Huyền at the local police station. — Photo kenh14.vn
HÀ NỘI — A woman in the central province of Quảng Bình has been fined by police for spreading ‘fake news’ on her Facebook page.
Hoàng Thanh Huyền, 23, from Đồng Hới City’s Bắc Nghĩa Ward, has posted a status on his facebook page on September 16 reporting that three Whitmore cases have been recorded at Việt Nam-Cuba Hospital.
“People should be aware,” she wrote.
Hundreds of people have shared the post, causing anxiety among the public.
Quảng Bình Province’s Department of Health has issued a letter confirming the information was false and no cases had been reported in this locality.
After an investigation, police officers summoned Huyền for interrogation.
At the local police office, she admitted that the news posted by her was false.
She had heard some people talking about it and posted them on her Facebook page, with the aim of warning others of the situation.
Huyền was ordered to pay VNĐ12.5 million (US$540).
Whitmore’s disease is caused by a bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei which exists in contaminated water and soil.
The most common transmission to humans and animals is via direct contact with the infection, especially through skin abrasions or inhalations of dust particles containing bacteria.
According to Nguyễn Văn Kính, director of the Central Hospital of Tropical Diseases, Whitmore’s disease was first reported in Việt Nam in the 1950s and only appeared in some provinces.
The incubation period from the exposure to the bacteria to the appearance of first symptoms takes two to 21 days. However, once the disease activates, it progresses rapidly; an infected patient might be killed in only 48 hours after being hospitalised.
In late September, a man in Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng was fined VNĐ10 million ($430) for publishing fabricated news about a murder on his Facebook page.
Earlier in March, an owner of Facebook account “Đầm Bầu Thời Trang Mami” was levied VNĐ20 million ($861) fine for posting fake news and photos relating to African swine fever in Hà Nội. — VNS