Is there an Ebola outbreak at Burning Man? What happened at Nevada festival, false viral meme explained
A viral social media post has falsely claimed cases of Ebola were detected at Burning Man
and live on Freeview channel 276
Burning Man Festival has been hit with false claims of an “Ebola outbreak”.
Fake posts on social media began to circulate after news that over 70,000 festival-goers were left stranded in the Nevada desert following flooding after heavy rain.
Authorities are investigating a death at the festival site, with the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office revealing the death happened during the event but have not offered any further details, including the identity of the deceased person nor the suspected cause of death.
Festival organisers closed vehicle access on Saturday (2 September) and urged festival-goers to shelter in place and conserve food, water and other supplies.
False news that an outbreak of Ebola had occurred at the festival started to circulate on Saturday evening. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening at Burning Man.
Is there an Ebola outbreak at Burning Man?
No, there is not an Ebola outbreak at Burning Man festival. As if things couldn’t get any worse for festival-goers, a viral post was shared on Saturday which claimed cases of the infectious disease had been detected. This led to widespread rumours that an outbreak of Ebola had happened at the Nevada music festival.
Fake posts started to pop up on X, formerly known as Twitter, where they appeared to show posts shared by the CDC which discussed an Ebola outbreak at Burning Man. The false information was widely shared on social media, and also included claims that a quarantine zone had been set up in the festival grounds.
There is absolutely no evidence that there is an Ebola outbreak at Burning Man.
What happened at Burning Man?
The Burning Man festival has been left in disarray after heavy rain caused flooding which has left thousands of festival-goers stranded.
Authorities are investigating a death at the site, with the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office revealing the death happened during the event but have not offered any further details, including the identity of the deceased person or the suspected cause of death.
Festival organisers were forced to close vehicle access to Burning Man on Saturday and urged anyone attending the festival to shelter in place and conserve food, water and other supplies.
Why are people stranded at Burning Man?
Festival-goers have been left stranded at Burning Man after heavy rain caused flooding at the lake bed campsite. The festival, which takes place in Black Rock City, Nevada is more often known for its scorching temperatures.
Heavy rain on Friday caused the desert sand to turn into mud, leaving vehicles struggling to manoeuvre the terrain. Festival organisers closed vehicle access on Saturday and urged festival-goers to shelter in place and conserve food, water and other supplies.
The Reno Gazette Journal reported that organisers had started rationing ice sales and that all vehicle traffic on the festival grounds had been stopped, leaving portable toilets unable to be serviced. Festival organisers closed vehicle access on Saturday, leaving festival-goers unable to travel in and out of the area by car.
Officials have not yet said when the entrance is expected to be opened again, and it was not immediately known when people would be able to leave.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is an infectious disease that according to the NHS is spread by humans through “infected body fluids, such as semen, saliva, blood, poo, pee and vomit”. It is caught from wild animals and recent deadly outbreaks have impacted central and west African countries including: Uganda, Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is rare, though can be a serious illness, with the CDC reporting the average fatality rate at 50%.