The World Health Organisation is investigating evidence that Ebola can be spread by vague platitudes and insincere sympathy posted on Facebook.
“I updated my status to ‘Feel fluey, legs ache. Blood running from my eyes’,” one Ebola sufferer told us. “I got four comments within five minutes saying ‘Awww bless. Huggz.’ now those people have Ebola too.”
Dr Jiao Xiaomei of the WHO said that investigating Facebook as a cause of a public health crisis was a difficult task due to 99.9% of all health-related status updates being made by needy people who just want some attention.
“Ebola is hard to track,” said Dr Xiaomei, “when 2,000 times a minute posts like ‘Ow, headache’ or ‘As if this day couldn’t get any worse I now have slightly hurty elbow’ are made which then spawn a proliferation of huggz and either exhortations to ‘stay strong’ or meaningless promises to ‘be there’ for someone.”
While Facebook hypochondriacs are a global scourge, here in the UK the NHS is hoping to profit from them by launching a new NHS Facebook Triage Nurse service. For a small monthly fee subscribers will receive a medical opinion on all their ‘sigh, I’ve run out of spoons and my hair hurts’ posts.
It is estimated that this will increase the nation’s productivity by tens of thousands of man-hours a week as it frees people from having to pretend to care.