October 29, 2009

Police on Thursday caught two Seoul high school students for spreading false rumors about vaccinations against Influenza A (H1N1) through the Internet and cellphone text messages, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

One of the students, a freshman, was accused of uploading groundless rumors about flu vaccination on an Internet web site, claiming all vaccinated people, particular teens, would die, Yonhap cited the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, as saying here.

The other student, a high school sophomore, picked up the posting and sent it to some 30 students via a text message which read: “If you get a flu shot, you’ll die. Let’s boycott flu vaccines,” said the agency, noting the message spread rapidly in cyberspace thereafter.

Police said they will soon decide whether to take legal action against the two.

Since the first death was reported locally in mid-August, 33 South Koreans have died from the infection. A total of 205 secondary schools nationwide are currently closed due to the flu outbreaks.

Blood donation has also been hit by the worsening flu fear, as schools and military units have increasingly shunned away from group donations, according to Red Cross officials.