Fact Check

LQP-79 Zombie Virus

A virus known as LQP-79 produces 'zombie-like' cannibalistic behavior in humans?

Published May 31, 2012

Claim:   A virus known as LQP-79 produces "zombie-like" cannibalistic behavior in humans.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2012]

I have been hearing about a so called virus known as LQP-79 that started in miami with a homeless man. its supposedly a virus that causes brain deterioration and led the man to become canabalistic. it is also said to be highly contagious leading people to believe it will cause some kind of zombie apocalypse.


Origins:   An incident in May 2012 involving a confrontation between two naked men in Miami in which one tried to chew off the face of the other before being shot by police led to myriad comparisons and jokes about the event being an indicator of an impending "zombie apocalypse." One such jape was that the dead face-eating man had not been high on bath salts (a form of drug) as originally reported (further investigation revealed marijuana but no bath salts in his system) but had been infected with LQP-79, a virus that supposedly "destroys internal organs and affects the brain waves to make you hungry for human flesh," as described in the following spoof (created by altering a related Huffington Post article):

Although the subject may be grisly, the LQP-79 virus and its supposed effects are nothing but a humorous invention that plays on the current fascination with zombies in popular culture.

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov

Last updated:   12 July 2012


    Neal, Meghan.   "Officials Say Synthetic Drug in Disguise Behind Recent 'Cannibal' Attack."
    [New York] Daily News.   30 May 2012.

    WFOR-TV [Miami].   "Miami Police Shoot, Kill Man Eating Another Man’s Face."
    26 May 2012.

    Miami Herald.   "No Bath Salts Detected."
    27 June 2012.

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

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