news Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| August 19, 2014| 1.00 pm IST Karnataka Health Minister U T Khader has threatened to initiate criminal action against those who spread rumours about an Ebola death in National Institute of Technology in Suratkal, Karnataka. Khader has said that this was an attempt to create fear and unrest and police will investigate, take action against rumour mongers. Sreejith, an M.tech student of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) died last month, and he had been diagnosed with a lung infection.  But a message started spreading amongst Whatsapp users in Mangalore from Sunday afternoon that said, “"Ebola reached Karnataka unfortunately!! Infected poor Sreejith-M Tech, NIT Surathkal, expired today. Please take precautions against this virus and spread the awareness!!. Friends plz eat Tulsi leaves to safeguard yourself from this virus elobla becz this virus directly effects the human immune system. Tulsi leaves good for the immune system so this is a precaution to save u from Ebola virus...." On Monday, the message was widely circulated and many people outside Mangalore and even Karnataka got the message. Dean of student welfare at NITK, Uday Kumar Yaragatti, told The New Indian Express, “ Sreejith, who was a state-level badminton player, died due to lung infection on July 21. Even the doctor who treated him confirmed this as the disease was not detected in the early stage. Miscreants are tarnishing our image claiming that the first victim of Ebola is from NITK.” With the college getting inundated with calls about ebola, students and teachers have taken to social media to spread the message that there is no cause of panic. Counter messages discrediting the first message on Sreejith’s death have now started doing rounds. Mangalore police are trying to locate the original source of the message.
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