Did writer predict coronavirus outbreak already in 1981? Bizarre conspiracy theory

Did the American thriller writer Dean Koontz predict the coronavirus outbreak in 1981 in a book? The question is one of the social discussion topics par excellence after some attentive readers discovered eerie similarities between the story and reality today. The conspiracy theories – for which there is no clear evidence for all clarity – did not take long.

It is the science-fiction thriller “The Eyes of Darkness” that caused the commotion. It is about a (fictional) biological weapon that listens to the name Wuhan-400. It was supposedly developed by China to kill people but accidentally makes a child clairvoyant.

Genetic laboratories

“They call it Wuhan-400 because it was developed in genetic laboratories just outside the city of Wuhan and because it was the 400th viable strain of a microorganism created by the researchers,” the thriller says as well as that the organism could spread worldwide and cause panic everywhere.

Conspiracy theories immediately emerged. “This is more than creepy,” it said in the responses. “A 1981 thriller predicted the coronavirus nightmare and referred to biological weapons laboratories in Wuhan, China.” Someone else calls it “no coincidence.” “The coronavirus is a weapon. After spreading it, people will earn a lot of money by healing it.” Nothing to worry about, as appears from a thorough comparison.

According to the book, the fictional Wuhan-400 is 100 percent fatal, and victims die within 24 hours. Corvid-19 has only a death rate of around 2 percent and an incubation period of 2 to 14 days.

Did writer predict coronavirus outbreak already in 1981? Bizarre conspiracy theory

Wuhan-400 can only infect humans: “No other living creatures can carry it.” However, Corvid-19 is believed to have been transmitted to humans by bats, possibly via a third animal. Besides, Wuhan-400 affects the brainstem of the victims “like an acid,” while Corvid-19 is a respiratory disease.


There is a link with the Chinese city of Wuhan, but where the coronavirus probably broke out in a market in the town, Wuhan-400 comes from laboratories outside the city.

Social media refers to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which studies the deadliest viruses and is located some thirty kilometers from where the coronavirus was suspected of breaking out. However, there is no evidence that Covid-19 was artificially created.

The writer himself has not yet responded to the commotion.

Twitter, Full Fact, Snopes
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