CORONAVIRUS was foretold 12 years ago in a book of prophecies about the end of the world, conspiracy theorists have claimed online.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has so far killed more than 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000 globally. As authorities scramble to contain new outbreaks in Italy, South Korea and Iran, rumours about the virus’ origin are rife.
Conspiracy theorists have so far claimed the virus was predicted by the 16th-century prophet Nostradamus and the Christian Bible.
Others have outrageously claimed the coronavirus is a top-secret bioweapon accidentally unleashed at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Thousands of people have also looked to works of fiction to find supposed clues and predictions about the coronavirus.
In one such case, readers found author Dean Koontz wrote of a coronavirus disease called Wuhan-400 in his 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness.
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But there is another author who many claim predicted the outbreak of a deadly contagion in the years 2020.
In her 2008 book End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World, supposed psychic Sylvia Browne wrote of a pneumonia outbreak ravaging the world.
The book reads: “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.
“Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it has arrived, attack again 10 years later, and then disappear completely.”
The brief passage has sparked the imaginations of many social media users who believe it matches the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Twitter user Diana Newman said: “This is from a Dean Koontz book in 1981. Read the text carefully… Coronavirus… Ideas have an origin in another realm. Sylvia Browne book, ‘End of Times’.”
In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe
Another Twitter user said: “How crazy is this? The psychic, Sylvia Browne, predicted the @coronavirus”
One person also said: “I remember Sylvia Browne, she was always pretty accurate with her predictions.”
There are, however, inconsistencies in the prediction that threaten to blow the lid wide open on the theory.
The coronavirus does indeed induce pneumonia-like symptoms in infected patients and it does attack the respiratory system.
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But the appearance of COVID-19 in China has not been as surprising as many have claimed.
Since the devastating outbreak of SARS in 2002 and 2003, health officials have warned new strains of the coronavirus family threaten to emerge in the future.
This was true in 2012 when a new strain dubbed MERS appeared in the Middle East.
There are also many inaccurate predictions in the book, such as claims a cure for Parkinson’s disease and paralysis will be discovered by 2012.
And not everyone who saw the bizarre coronavirus claims was convinced by them.
Winston Smith said on Twitter: “Even a broken clock gives the right hour of the day twice…”
Another person said: “Medical experts have been saying for years we will have more pandemics. Stope reporting silly books! End of days lol. You dimwits.”
One person also tweeted: “A broken clock will tell the correct time at some point during the day.
“If you write about hundreds of different scenarios that could possibly play out, you’re probably going to get something right.”