A post published in English and Spanish repeats the debunked idea that the current monkeypox outbreak might have resulted from a virus that was created in a lab. The post also baselessly alleges that the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the outbreak a public health emergency was due to financial incentives.
Wastewater surveillance is a public health tool that can track the spread of pathogens. The virus that causes polio was detected in New York City sewage as part of such monitoring efforts. Social media posts, however, have incorrectly claimed the virus was found in tap water. Similar claims have been made about the monkeypox virus.
A Wuhan Institute of Virology study describes assembling part of a monkeypox viral genome for use in a diagnostic test. Although the researchers only made a fraction of the genome — and it matches a different version of the virus — social media posts are using the study to baselessly claim that the current monkeypox outbreak is a result of a lab leak.