If you’re part of one of those family group chats on WhatsApp — you know, the ones where your extended family members constantly send updates on things like new traffic rules and angbao rates — you might have gotten a message sometime this past week about avoiding raw fish.
According to Channel NewsAsia, the message seems to have first appeared in a Facebook post:
Collective sigh from sashimi lovers aside, the news was big enough to drive many Singaporeans to want to seek medical attention after realising that they might have gotten infected with the bacterial disease through foods like sushi. This is despite the fact that the message only pointed out yusheng — a dish served at hawker centres — as the main culprit behind the outbreak.
Of course, there were also those who’d dismissed the message as a hoax:
In the social media space, unfortunately, where sharing information is easy and messages like this spread even before facts are confirmed, those who called the message out for being untrue were few and far between. Many simply passed on the information without further thought, escalating the worry that had taken ahold of many raw fish loving Singaporeans, and blowing the matter quite out of proportion.
Last night, however, the Ministry of Health put all worries to rest as they announced that there is, in fact, no link between eating raw fish and contracting the Group B streptococcus (GBS) bacteria disease:
So while it seems that such a bacterial disease does actually exist, it tends to affect only those with underlying health conditions — healthy individuals need not freak out about having had a slice of raw seafood just yet.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off enjoying that bowl of piping hot porridge — with a side of yusheng.