The new coronavirus is spreading like wildfire, and so are the conspiracies about the virus on social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media outlets are trying to contain the spread of misinformation. First Coast News verifies what's real and what's fake.
CLAIM: Many posts circulating online have people believing there is a patent for a vaccine for the virus.
This is false. There is no vaccine for this strain.
However, Australian scientists say they have isolated and grown a sample of the new virus in a lab. That's the first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment of the infection.
The Pirbright Institute in Surrey did create a patent in 2015 for a vaccine for a different strain of the coronavirus that infected poultry. The institute recently stated it currently doesn’t work on human coronaviruses.
CLAIM: If you do contract the coronavirus, it doesn’t mean it’s a death sentence.
First Coast News can verify that’s true.
Though the total number of deaths from the coronavirus is about 170, a total of 133 people have recovered worldwide. People in the U.S. are also being treated right now. Doctors report the man with the first confirmed case in Washington state is in stable condition.
CLAIM: That the coronavirus is a leaked biomedical weapon.
Tweets and YouTube videos claim the virus was smuggled out of a Canadian lab in Winnipeg to China. There is no evidence to support this. In 2013, the lab in question investigated a group of coronavirus infections linked to Middle East respiratory syndrome.
CLAIM: You can be cured by drinking bleach.
This is absolutely false! Drinking bleach could kill you!
QAnon supporters are advocating Miracle Mineral Solution, used in bleach, can fight off the virus. The FDA states MMS is not approved by the administration for ingestion. It is incredibly dangerous to drink bleach.
In an effort to contain the spread of conspiracies and false information, Twitter is directing all coronavirus searches to the CDC’s Twitter page. Facebook and YouTube have also changed their algorithms to prioritize more credible sources in search requests.
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