The panic on social media soon turned outrage, after it emerged that a report claiming that an illegal immigrant with Ebola had gone missing in Leicester, was in fact a 'racist' hoax.
The hoax, which has even been branded a racist campaign, went viral following a report in Daily Bale, which calls itself "a news source that cares about the British people."
The story claimed that a black illegal immigrant, who tested positive for Ebola, is missing in Leicester, England. However, it has now emerged that the report "EXCLUSIVE: Illegal Immigrant with Ebola missing in UK" is completely fabricated as the photo of the man, identified as "Jamal Malouf" in the story, seems to have been lifted off the internet.
Russia Today found that Jamal Malouf was in fact American resident Ansumana Jadama, a 20-year-old youth, who was stabbed to death in South Salt Lake, Utah, in September 2013.
The story even falsely claimed that "the NHS Centre for Disease Control has upped the Ebola threat to 'critical' after a 32-year-old Somalian illegal immigrant disappeared in Leicester".
Currently, major NHS hospitals across the country have been put on standby, however, the chances of an Ebola outbreak in UK is said to be 'very low.'
The fake report even stated that "Jamal Malouf arrived in the UK by shipping container last Wednesday and managed to evade authorities for three days after being caught. Malouf appeared to be ill and suffering from 'cold'. Health authorities sent Jamal to the Leicester Centre run by the NHS over the weekend from where he allegedly escaped."
Further, it claimed that health officials have warned that the 32-year-old black may be carrying the deadly EBOLA virus and have advised the public to avoid the black man, if spotted." The report even carried a hotline number which, reportedly, doesn't work.
However, even before many could realise that the story was a hoax, some of those who believed it, reportedly put up posters of the 'Missing Ebola Immigrant' across Leicester.
According to Leicester Mercury report, one of the posters was even found in a city medical centre.
The hoax has been slammed by some on social media as "racist campaign". Lee Jasper @LeeJasper said: "The racist @DailyBaleNews puts up out fake #Ebola poster in Leicester in attempt to promote racism. Fake picture RT"
ARPharmS @Maxiiemus noted: "There are so many levels of wrong with this. Ebola in Leicester yea?" While Midlands Vauxhall @MidlandsVauxhal said:"This is awful on so many levels. At least people in #Leicester now know it's a hoax. #Ebola."
It should be noted that there is no cause for alarm in UK. Till now there has been one case of Ebola in the UK, and according to NewsWeek, it was "imported and treated in optimal conditions."
William Pooley had contracted the illness while working as a nurse in Sierra Leone. He was flown back to the UK in August, and treated.