Burning Man Ebola Stories Debunked: There’s No Evidence It’s True

burning man

Washoe Sheriff The scene of the 2023 Burning Man

Social media is awash with people claiming that the Ebola virus was found at the “Burning Man” festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.

However, it appears to be a hoax. There is no evidence of Ebola at Burning Man 2023.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t real problems at Burning Man. “It was an incredibly harrowing 6 mile hike at midnight through heavy and slippery mud, but I got safely out of Burning Man. Never been before and it was fantastic (with brilliant art and fabulous music)…except the ending,” one man wrote on X.

Pershing County Sheriff’s Sergeant Nathan Carmichael told CNN that “a little over 70,000” people were stranded at the festival because of mud and flooding.

NBC News reported that one person did die during the festival, but authorities have released no further details. No cause of death was released.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Burning Man Ebola Hoax Stems From a Fake CDC Post on ‘X’

The hoax appears to stem from a screenshot shared on X, formerly Twitter. “EBOLA OUTBREAK BURNING MAN,” wrote one X user who shared it. The screenshot appears to be a post from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to Forbes, the post is fake, and the CDC did not make it.

The fake post shares a health advisory for Ebola and reads, “Ebola outbreak confirmed at Black Rock City, NV. It is recommended that all Burning Man attendees remain in their dwellings until further notice. Current State of Emergency in progress.”
The post then shares an invalid URL.

The same page shared a fake photo of a quarantine map.

The real CDC account contains no warning about Ebola being at Burning Man.

That didn’t stop people from sharing the hoax. “Ebola like symptoms in many of the Burning Man Festival attendees. Floodwaters may have contained live Marburg virus, known to cause Ebola like symptoms,” wrote one X user, presenting zero evidence.

The Problems at Burning Man Stem From the Weather, Not Ebola

The Washoe Sheriff wrote about the real Burning Man problems on X. “Regrettably, unpredictable weather conditions have presented a unique challenge to the attendees of the Burning Man festival this year,” Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said, according to one post.

“Washoe County is ready to respond to the needs of Burning Man attendees as they safely exit the playa to return home,” Balaam added. “I know patience is difficult at this moment, however, it will be the most helpful in ensuring a safe exit for festival participants.”

The Washoe sheriff continued, “Participants are also asked to monitor updates from Burning Man and follow the instructions of Burning Man coordinators to help ensure a smooth and secure departure from the area.”

Burning Man organizers wrote on X on September 3, “The Gate remains closed. Please stay off of Gate Road — rain and mud make it impassable at the moment. We will update you when conditions improve. Stay safe!”

They added: “Please do NOT drive at this time. Road conditions differ based on the neighborhood. We will update you on the driving ban after this weather front has left the area.”

Burning Man also wrote, “Some vehicles with 4WD and all-terrain tires are able to navigate the mud and are successfully leaving, but we are seeing most other types of vehicles that try to depart getting stuck in the wet mud which hampers everyone’s Exodus.”

Sheriff’s officials and Burning Man organizers made no mention of Ebola.

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