Did a Chinese novelist really predict the Coronavirus in 1981?

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A snapshot of the novel ‘Eye of the Darkness’, which was published in 1981 by American author Dean Koontz has been doing the rounds on social media. It states that the Coronavirus, referred to as Wuhan-400 in the book, was predicted in 1981.

A page from the book states that Wuhan-400 is the perfect weapon. It affects only human beings. This post has been shared multiple times.

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When we fact-checked the claims in this post, we found them to be partially false and misleading. We attempted to compare some of the claims in the book to information about the Coronavirus.
For example, as listed in the book, the Wuhan-400, was developed in a lab. That’s not true for the Coronavirus. It is believed to have originated in a market in Wuhan as per this report from Reuters.

Secondly, Wuhan-400 has a fatality rate of 100% as per the book. The Coronavirus, on the other hand, has a fatality rate of 2% as per WHO.

Further, we also found that earlier editions of the book refer to Wuhan-400 as Gorki-400, as per Taiwan News.

With these sources, it becomes clear that the Coronavirus, specifically, was not predicted in the 1981 book and hence is misleading.

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