Hoaxes & Rumors

Is the CDC Investigating a Mystery Illness at the Border?

Is the CDC Investigating a Mystery Illness at the Border?

A report circulating this week states that the CDC is investigating a “mystery illness” which is spreading through towns along the US/Mexico border. Is this story real or fake?

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The story is not true.

In an article entitled, “Crisis at the Border: CDC Investigates Mystery Illness Spreading Through Border Towns” by the website National Report, we read that undocumented women and children in border towns have been diagnosed with a mystery illness and the CDC has dispatched specialists to determine the cause. The fake story provides symptoms of the mystery illness as high fever, nausea, and muscle pain, along with reduced mental functions.

National Report, however, is a website which publishes fictional stories in the name of satire. In the past, National Report has posted a disclaimer noting that it publishes satire, although that disclaimer has been removed on different occasions.

No corroboration

Although the alarming story “quotes” CDC officials, these quotes are also fabricated. A lengthy quote is perhaps the best hint that the story is not real, with an official stating that victims become like “feral dogs” toward members of different ethnic groups.  National Report includes no sources to corroborate its fictional story, nor are there any news reports by legitimate media which contain anything resembling the fake story. A look at the CDC Newsroom also yields no sign of a “mystery illness” at the US/Mexico border.

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National Report has been responsible for other fake stories circulating on social media, including one about a doping scandal at the World Cup, and President Obama’s visit to a mosque on July 4.

Bottom Line

The report that the CDC is investigating a mystery illness at the US/Mexico border is not real. It was published by the satirical/fake news website National Report. None of the information in that fake story has been corroborated by any legitimate news source or government agency.

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