Fact Check: Did Doctor find a cockroach in a patient's radiograph?

Social media users are sharing an X-ray image showing a live cockroach in a patient’s chest.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  9 Nov 2021 6:00 AM GMT
Fact Check: Did Doctor find a cockroach in a patients radiograph?

Hyderabad: Social media users are sharing an X-ray image showing a live cockroach in a patient's chest.

"A man went to a doctor saying he had chest pain. The doctor asked him to undergo an X-ray. The X-ray showed he had a cockroach in his chest region. He was told by the doctor that he would need surgery to remove it. He asked the man to go to America for surgery. The man went to America. The doctors who examined him said that the bug was inside the X-Ray machine, not in his chest. And, he just had a gastric problem (sic)," reads the English translation of Telugu post

NewsMeter received the viral claim on WhatsApp to verify it.

A similar claim can be found here.

Fact check:

The claim is False.

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search of the photo that directed us to posts shared on social media since 2018.

Those posts can be found here. This photo was shared by Cambodians in Khmer in 2018.

Facebook posts read that a man living in Prey Weng Province had a cockroach inside his body and he needed urgent surgery. Hence the doctor suggested he go to India for treatment.

We found that the Khmer Times-News Agency published an article on 23 April 2018 stating that the Cambodian Ministry of Health had issued a press release on the viral photo and debunked the claim saying that it is fake.

The appeal from the Ministry of Health was made after the Facebook page 'Merl Komsan', posted the viral image. It further said that the Facebook page admin issued a public apology and stated that the X-ray image was not from Prey Weng Provincial Hospital or any provincial hospital in Cambodia. The team said it was just for fun and had no intention of spreading false information.


Several other Cambodian news organizations have published the clarification by the Cambodian Ministry of Health. Those articles can be found here.

According to the reports, the news was originally published on the 'Medicine Life' Facebook account, claiming that the viral image is from Nigeria.



Moreover, the original picture used in this fake post was found in the "BBC News" article. According to the article, the X-ray was of Marilyn Monroe's chest and it was sold at an auction. When we looked for more information about Marilyn Monroe's chest X-ray, we found an article in "The Hindu". It was found that this X-ray is one of the three X-rays of Monroe's chest taken during her 1954 visit to Lebanon Hospital in Cedars.

Same X-ray images are circulated as those of patients from Ghana and Nigeria. Snopes had earlier debunked these viral claims.



Hence, the claim is false. It is clearly a morphed image. Such fake posts have been in circulation for several years.

Claim Review:An X-ray image shows a live cockroach in a patient's chest.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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