Another type of virus is in the air, a viral challenge that is, but it could prove to be just as deadly.
TikTok’s new “Penny Challenge” is sweeping social media and teens are being warned about the dangers which include electrocution or worse.
The game started, as usual, on TikTok. It requires teens to plug a charger into a wall socket. The teen then touches the exposed prongs to produce a spark.
Obviously, the resulting effect is an electric shock.
Michael Clusker, the Fire Station Manager in Carlisle, Cumbria, has severely criticized the “dangerous” game, warning that it could result in a deadly fire.
He said: “The outcome from this is that someone will get seriously hurt.
“Every year there are numbers of people killed by electrical shocks. It can kill you if it gets you right.
“Anything that interferes with electrical equipment – unless you are a qualified electrician – is very dangerous.”
One case in point in the USA saw firefighters racing to a school when a teen did the challenge on an iPhone charger that was plugged into an outlet.
Clusker advises teens to be more responsible.
He said: “I do think social media is an issue, giving people ideas that are probably not ideal.
“People should take responsibility for their own actions.
“In my 25 years in the job, I have seen the consequences of people overstepping the mark when it comes to showing off.
“We would encourage people not to mimic or copy some of the reckless stunts that are commonly viewed on social media.
“When emergency services do attend these incidents, it does take up vital resources that should be available for other emergencies.
“People take risks. Some in vehicles, driving recklessly. You could get a similar outcome as someone who messes with a switch.”
This is certainly the problem with viral challenges where people are goaded into taking unnecessary risks because of peer pressure or the desire to become famous.