Fact Check: Netflix Korean Drama Predicted Coronavirus Outbreak In 2018?

The Logical Indian fact check team investigated the claim that Netflix show 'My Secret Terrius' predicted the Coronavirus pandemic in 2018.

India   |   29 March 2020 5:17 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-05-01T04:20:58+05:30
Editor : Bharat Nayak
Fact Check: Netflix Korean Drama Predicted Coronavirus Outbreak In 2018?

According to Netizens, a TV show on Netflix, predicted the coronavirus pandemic back in 2018.

Tweets claim that the 53rd minute of the 10th episode of Korean series 'My Secret Terrius', which was released in 2018, mentions the deadly illness, which in recent times is being called the COVID-19 outbreak.

One of our community members also asked us to verify the claim.

In one of the scenes from the show, a doctor can be heard saying: "The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system," hinting that some people were trying to use the muted virus as a biological weapon.

"What's more serious is that the coronavirus has an incubation period of two to 14 days."

"This virus was manipulated to attack the lungs directly within just five minutes of being exposed," she further says.

On being asked if there's a cure, she responds: "There's no cure or vaccine available at the moment."

"Stop what you're doing right now.... Go on Netflix... type in My Secret Terrius, go to Season 1, episode 10 and skip to 53 minutes. it's kind of suspicious. This series came in 2018 and the first reported case of Coronavirus was in Nov 2019," reads one such viral tweet.

In an eerie similarity, children in the show are also taught how to wash hands properly in order to prevent contraction.

The synopsis of the South Korean show reads, "A secret agent who detaches himself from the world after a failed operation tries to unravel the mystery behind a neighbour's death."

A doctor hands over some documents to another character, telling her, "We must do more research, but it looks like a mutant coronavirus."

The other character responds: "Corona? Then MERS?"

"MERS, SARS, the common flu. They all fall in the same gene family with the same gene information. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. During the 2015 MERS epidemic, the mortality rate was over 20 percent," says the doctor.

The first season of My Secret Terrius ended with a doctor getting a disease similar to COVID-19.


Netflix show 'My Secret Terrius' predicted the Coronavirus pandemic in 2018.

Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

In the video clip that is being circulated, the doctor lists out some features of the 'fictional' novel coronavirus. These features in contrary to what is now known about the SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19).

Real Vs Reel

According to the doctor the virus had been artificially mutated by a human, bringing the mortality rate to "almost 90%."

The current COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 27,365 lives out of 597,268 infected individuals at the time of writing this article, therefore the mortality rate is about 4.5%.

According to peer-reviewed articles (Zhou et. al (2020); Andersen et. al (2020)), there are two potential origins of the virus.

Firstly, the virus went through natural selection in an animal (currently the progenitor host is theorised to be a bat or a pangolin), before going through zoonotic transfer (transfer of pathogens between animals and humans), and jumping into a human host.

Secondly, the virus jumped into a human host from an animal, while going through re-assortment of its genetic make-up that could lead it to acquire the properties to start a pandemic.

No evidence about the fact that the virus is man-made artificially made in a lab has been found, yet.

Therefore, the show couldn't have predicted the outbreak of coronavirus back in 2018. It is noteworthy to mention here that Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans which causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Therefore, it is quite possible for people to make shows or write books on the Coronavirus, which is an umbrella term.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343

Also Read: Fact Check: Amit Shah Tests Positive For Coronavirus?

Claim Review :  Netflix show ‘My Secret Terrius’ predicted the Coronavirus pandemic in 2018.
Claimed By :  Twitter posts
Fact Check :  Misleading
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Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.

Bharat Nayak

Bharat Nayak

Founding Editor- Special Project

As the founding editor, Bharat had been heading the newsroom during the formation years of the organization and worked towards editorial policies, conceptualizing and designing campaign strategies and collaborations. He believes that through the use of digital media, one could engage the millennial's in rational conversations about pertinent social issues, provoking them to think and bring a behavioral change accordingly.

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