Satire can sometimes be confusing. The good stuff sounds so plausible that a reader or viewer has to pay attention. That’s what makes the Onion so great.
According to International Business Times, a satirical story on a recall due to avian influenza-in-turkey from National Report has gone, uh, viral as they say.
The story was posted on National Report, a satirical website well known for publishing fake stories with sensational headlines.
The bogus report read: “The CDC has confirmed that millions of turkeys have been recalled due to safety concerns over an avian virus that the birds may be harboring. The virus is related to human influenza virus but was thought to lack the ability to infect humans. However, it appears that the virus has recently developed the ability to move from bird hosts to humans. The results could be disastrous.
The article also carried a made up quote from Bob Marcer, a CDC epidemiologist, as saying: “We are in a very hazardous situation here. From our sampling efforts, we know that millions of turkeys that have been sold in the last weeks are harboring this virus. The handling, preparation, and eating of these turkeys could infect millions of people during the Thanksgiving holiday. Follow that with the large crowds of Black Friday shopping and the Christmas shopping season in general, and millions more could be infected through casual contact. We are looking at a holiday season epidemic.”
Although it’s likely seen by many in the food industry as a waste of time, stuff like this exemplifies why it’s important to have folks monitoring social media and engaging with folks. Using the viral-ness of a fake story is not a bad introduction to tell folks about how the turkey industry really manages zoonoses and human pathogens.