Conspiracy theories that suggested best-selling author Dean Koontz predicted the coronavirus outbreak nearly 40 years ago are most likely a stretch after similarities in one of his books went viral on social media this week.
Koontz's 1981 thriller "The Eyes of Darkness" describes a deadly virus called "Wuhan-400," named after the Chinese city known as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. So far, 82,000 people in 48 countries have been infected.
"A Dean Koontz novel written in 1981 predicted the outbreak of the coronavirus!" wrote Nick Hinton who posted the original screenshot on Twitter back on Feb. 15.
People on Twitter who replied to his post called Koontz's prediction creepy, with one user asking to cue the "Twilight Zone music please."
People noted how the plot of the book calls the Wuhan virus the "perfect weapon" that could "wipe out a city or country."
"That's crazy. He probably didn't have a clue when he was writing it," another user wrote.
Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists out there, it appears that similarities between the originated COVID-19 and the virus prediction by Koontz stop at the Wuhan name.
In the book, the Wuhan-400 was man-made and developed in labs outside the city -- which differs from COVID-19, reportedly originating in animals, according to the World Health Organization.
It also described the fatality rate of the Wuhan-400 as having a 100 percent fatality rate, compared to the roughly 2 percent rate of the coronavirus
A Google Books Preview also showed the name of the virus in the original 1981 copy was called "Gorki-400," according to the daily examiner. The paper noted the book changed the location of the virus to Wuhan in 1996. It's not clear if Koontz made the decision to make the change.