Fact Check

Does Bono Have Ebola?

Has U2 singer Bono contracted Ebola?

Published Oct. 14, 2014


Claim:   U2 singer Bono contracted Ebola while caring for a man in Liberia.


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, October 2014]


Origins:   On 14 October 2014, Organ Grinder magazine published an article claiming that U2 singer Bono had contracted Ebola while caring for a man in Liberia:

U2 singer, activist and humanitarian has reported that he is exhibiting early symptoms of ebola and has most likely contracted the virus while caring for a dying Liberian man.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a press conference: "The only fortunate thing here is that Mr. Hewson's involvement will bring the epidemic the international attention that it deserves."


The article also included a picture of the singer in the hospital. While the photograph was real, it did not show Bono being treated for Ebola:

The photo was actually a still shot from a video that Bono made shortly after suffering a herniated disk in May of 2010:

In addition to the use of a misidentified photo, the rumor that Bono has Ebola can be debunked by looking at its source. Organ Grinder magazine is a "comic, puzzle and game publication" that does not publish news stories, true or otherwise. In fact, it appears that "U2's Bono has Likely contracted the Ebola Virus" is the publication's first foray into the world of media hoaxes.

Last updated:   14 October 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.