After some confusion, a police chief in Louisiana said a viral Facebook post about meth being contaminated with the Zika virus was a stunt meant to draw attention to a nationwide drug epidemic.
The Harahan Police Department never had reason to believe Zika, a mosquito-born virus, was able to contaminate meth. And, despite the department’s offer, it has no way to test for Zika in meth.
The department posted a notice to its Facebook page on Saturday saying meth “in any area of Louisiana” might be “contaminated with the Zika virus.” It said people who bring their methamphetamine to their local police department or call police to come to their home will receive a “free” test.
Harahan Police Chief Tim Walker said Sunday that the post about the “test,” which garnered over 5,4000 shares and was criticized as concerning by the mayor of Harahan, was fake and only meant to raise awareness of nationwide drug abuse, The New Orleans Advocate reports. Walker said other police departments in Alabama, Ohio and New Jersey have posted similar “warnings” in the past.
The Advocate reports as of Sunday afternoon, no one had contacted the police department for a Zika meth test.
What Americans should know about the Zika virus.
Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/12/31/zika-meth-louisiana-police-admits-test-virus-drug-fake/2448544002/