PUBLISHED: 11:45 EDT, 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:47 EDT, 12 March 2020
When psychic Sylvia Browne wrote in a 2008 novel that a ‘severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe’ around the year 2020 little did she know how eerily prophetic it might become.
However 12 years on from the prediction, conspiracy theorists have taken to the work of fiction to find the answers and are now claiming that the author’s words ‘prophesied’ the outbreak of the coronavirus.
As the world rushes to slow down the progression of the illness, which has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, some claim the late self-professed psychic foresaw the virus in her book End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World.
The bizarre claims, which have taken social media by storm, were shared by reality star Kim Kardashian, 39, who posted a book excerpt to Twitter before copying it to her Instagram Stories.
Conspiracy theorists have been claiming that psychic Sylvia Browne (pictured) predicted the coronavirus
In the 2008 book, Browne wrote: ‘In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.
‘Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it has arrived, attack again 10 years later, and then disappear completely.’
Theorists have been drawing attention to her description of a ‘pneumonia-like illness’ that attacks the ‘lungs and bronchial tubes’ and claimed it matches that of the respiratory illness today.
However fact-checking website Snopes.com pointed out that the SARS virus had occurred a few years before she published the book and might have inspired the passage.
Browne was best known in her lifetime for writing more than 40 books and was a frequent guest on talk shows, during which she would do psychic readings with guests or callers.
But she was nearly as infamous for her repeated false or discredited predictions.
In 2002, she claimed that the kidnapped 11-year-old Shawn Hornbeck was abducted by a Latino man with dreadlocks and dark skin, but when Hornbeck was found alive in 2007, it turned out he was kidnapped by a white man.
In 2004, Browne told the mother of Amanda Berry that her kidnapped daughter was dead, going as far as to suggest her body had been disposed of in water and that DNA from the killer might be found on her jacket.
Berry’s mother died two years later, and Berry was found alive with two other abducted women.
Browne made numerous other significant errors while predicting the outcomes of abductions, and she even got the age she would die at wrong by 11 years.
The fresh claims are not the first time conspiracy theorists have said the virus, which has now been transmitted between humans in 30 countries across Europe, was foretold.
Some theorists claimed the author pointed to a respiratory illness in her book End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World (left) while others said Dean Koontz had also predicted the virus in his The Eyes Of Darkness.
Some theorists have claimed the French astrologer Michel de Nostredame – Nostradamus – who wrote about the onset of ‘diverse plagues’ that ‘will be upon mankind’, also saw the virus approaching.
In his 1555 book Les Prophetie the physician wrote: ‘From the vain enterprise honour and undue complaint,
‘Boats tossed about among the Latins, cold, hunger, waves. Not far from the Tiber the land stained with blood,
‘And diverse plagues will be upon mankind.’
Elsewhere, other conspiracy theorists have argued that COVID-19 was foretold in author Dean Koontz’s book The Eyes of Darkness in 1981.
Taking to social media to share their findings with the public, conspiracy theorists have been circling Browne’s excerpt and claiming it was a spooky prediction of what was to come.
One wrote: ‘This is frightening and scary…Sylvia Browne book ‘End of days’ predictions and prophecies about end of the world…and clearly mentions Coronavirus type symptoms in 2020.’
While another added: ‘Did Sylvia Browne predict the Coronavirus outbreak twelve years ago, or was it just a lucky guess? In her book ‘End of Days’, Browne provides a rather explicit description of the respiratory illness. If other aspects of her prediction bear out, COVID-19 will soon vanish!’
Another Twitter user commented: ‘Oh my god! Look what the late psychic Sylvia Browne wrote in her book from years ago! I think she must have been predicting the coronavirus!
However others slammed the bizarre notion stating that the words written by the author were simply a ‘coincidence’.
One social media user wrote: ‘Coincidence. There are millions of books with plots that don’t come true. Inevitable that some will have significance this way.’
While another argued: ‘And that prediction it was completely bogus. When you wrte a book of fake predictions, you may just get one of them right based on statistics.’
Another person responded by saying: ‘Some people are now freaking out and posting fiction saying Sylvia Browne predicted the coronavirus back some time in 2010. Please! She couldn’t even predict her own demise.
‘I’ll continue to rely on Nostradamus’ quatrains thank you.’
The conspiracy theories come as President Donald Trump imposed a 30-day ban on most Europeans entering the United States on Wednesday in an effort to slow down the progression of the virus.
The American leader declared the ban would come into effect at ‘midnight’ on Friday after health officials declared it was now a pandemic.
The White House said the travel restrictions would apply to foreign nationals who have visited 26 European countries – but excluding the UK and Ireland – in the past 14 days.
It comes after the number of reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S. rose to 1,315 and the number of deaths hit 38 as of Thursday morning, with some 366 of those cases and 29 deaths reported in the Washington state.
With around 4,600 people having died so far worldwide, many U.S. states have been limiting travel and putting in place ‘social distancing measures’ to limit contact between people.
The virus, which initially saw millions of residents and tourists in China put on lock down to contain the spread, has now been transmitted between humans in 30 countries across Europe, including Spain, Germany and France, according to the World Health Organization.
In Italy, the infection has seen more than 10,000 affected and resulted in 631 deaths, with the country now placing 60 million in an unprecedented lock-down to contain the escalating outbreak.
The total confirmed infections in Europe have risen to 23,339 with 951 deaths, according to a new tally which is compiled from official sources.
Meanwhile in China, which is home to 1.4billion people, the number of cases have risen to 80,969, with the number of confirmed fatalities hitting 3,158.