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Ed Miliband is pictured sneezing on NBC Nightly News, Dec. 18.  NBC Nightly News

NBC Used a Picture of British Politician Ed Miliband To Illustrate the Flu

Updated: Dec 19, 2016 11:11 AM ET

When NBC Nightly News wanted to illustrate a story on the uptick of flu in the U.S. this winter they chose what may have seemed like an innocuous stock photo. In fact, the picture showed Ed Miliband, former leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, blowing his nose.

On Sunday night, unwittingly or not, NBC used an image of Miliband, who would have been Britain's Prime Minister had Labour not been defeated by David Cameron's Conservative Party in the 2015 general election, in a story highlighting the dangers of flu season.

The original photo was taken by Getty in a 2011 Labour party conference and NBC has yet to clarify whether the photo was accidentally used, reports Buzzfeed.

This is the second time this year that the politician's image has been used by an American outlet, seemingly by mistake. In October, an alt-right news-site published a picture of the lawmaker and claimed he was helping Hillary Clinton have sex with men and women.

But Miliband was already a meme even before this year; in 2014, a picture of him eating a bacon sandwich spawned dozens of mocking images of the beleaguered lawmaker:

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