HSA Addresses Hoax Alert Regarding "Machupo Virus" Found in Paracetamol Tablets

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) would like to inform members of the public that an “alert” that is circulating on social media regarding the transmission of “Machupo” virus through paracetamol tablets is a hoax. Its content is untrue.

2    To date, there are two versions of the hoax “alert” circulating. One version mentions the paracetamol product “P-500” tablets and the second version mentions the “Aeknil Paracetamol” tablets. Both warn that “P-500” or the “Aeknil Paracetamol” tablets should not be consumed as they contain the “Machupo” virus. The “alerts” also claim that the ‘new, very white and shiny paracetamol tablets’ have been proven by doctors to contain the “Machupo” virus. Please refer to Annex A of the pdf version for pictures of the products that were referred to in the alerts.

“Machupo” virus

3    The “Machupo” virus, or the Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (BHF) virus, is a virus that causes symptoms, including fever, muscle pains, bleeding gums and seizures. The “Machupo” virus infection is contracted by direct contact with the virus, which has been shown to be transmitted mainly by the saliva, faeces and urine of infected rodents. To date, “Machupo” virus infections have only been documented in South America. 

P-500 and Aeknil Paracetamol

4    The above two products are not approved for sale by HSA.  The “P-500” tablets are claimed to be manufactured by Apex Laboratories Private Limited while there are no manufacturing details on the “Aeknil Paracetamol’ tablets.  There are no paracetamol products marketed in Singapore that are manufactured by Apex Laboratories Private Limited. In addition, HSA has not received any reports of “Machupo” virus infections associated with the use of paracetamol tablets.

Public advisory

5    HSA assures the public that the content of the hoax “alert” is inaccurate and is not a cause for concern. Anyone who receives the hoax “alert” should not forward it to others as the information is untrue.

2 AUGUST 2017 

Download pdf version here292 KB

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