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Authorities in Kenya warned of a new outbreak of HPV that spreads through kissing and is deadlier than HIV/Aids.
In November 2017, unreliable web sites spread a fabricated story about a so-called “new outbreak” of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to genital warts and various cancers.
The React HC Tennis Air NikeCourt Zoom Shoe Women's Ultra wAntw1xqI web site wrote:
Students from Kisii University, Kenya and the general public at large have been warned against kissing carelessly due to an outbreak of Human papilloma virus, which has seen several people admitted at Kisii level 5 hospital after testing positive to the disease.
The HPV is gradually circulating Kenya and gradually making its way into the Southern parts of Africa and will soon hit Africa at large.
046797 Women's Sandal Sandal XTI Women's 046797 Women's 046797 XTI XTI Africans are believed to travel a lot to all parts of the world. So if proper awareness is not created, this is likely to hit the whole world in no distance time.
You are hereby advised to warn and inform family members, friends, well wishers and colleagues about this deadly disease that kills faster than HIV/AIDS.
The earliest version of the story that we found dates from May 2016, and was published by Trending In Kenya, a web site that is registered in Nairobi and posts fake articles alleging devil worship and alien creatures, and sensationalist celebrity gossip.
Mzansi Live, which is listed by the fact-checking agency Africa Check as a known fake news web site in South Africa, also published the story, but notably switched the location of the university in question from Kenya to Johannesburg.
There is no truth to the story, which is not corroborated by any reporting in reliable local news media. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa has made no reference to any particular “outbreak” of HPV in recent years.
HPV is a collection of strains of viral infection, transmitted by skin and mucous membrane contact (rather than the exchange of bodily fluids) during a variety of sexual activities. It is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection, but in most cases does not come with harmful symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Which is why an HPV infection can go undetected for decades. Certain strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and various types of cancer, including cervical and oral cancer. If a case of HPV does result in a cancerous tumor, it often takes years and even decades to develop, according to the National Cancer Institute.
So the fake articles present an implausible and misleading picture of free-kissing college students suddenly falling deathly ill and being admitted to hospital due to an outbreak of HPV. That is simply not how HPV spreads, and it is not an accurate depiction of its repercussions.