Mobile phone operators in Pakistan have been deluged with calls from concerned users after they received a hoax message claiming a killer virus was being transmitted via their handsets.
The message claimed that 20 people had already succumbed to the deadly plague, and proved so effective that some mosques in Karachi began advising would-be victims to "be aware of God's wrath", Reuters reports.
Farah Hussain, a spokeswoman for Warid Telecom, said the company's customer service centres have been "inundated with panicky subscribers inquiring about the so-called virus".
Operators issued a joint statement aimed at calming nerves, which explained: "These rumours are completely baseless. They do not make any sense in technological terms." ®