Beware! These fake news are circulating on the internet

No, pregnant women are no longer likely to become infected with the coronavirus. These fake news and others are currently circulating on the internet

A lot of false information about the new coronavirus is circulating on social media. For example, it is wrongly claimed that pregnant women are more likely to become infected. And also, these false claims and messages are currently being spread.

An overview of some of the false messages.

Pregnant women

Posts on Facebook claiming that pregnant women are more likely to catch Covid-19 are, therefore, false. The author neglects to substantiate his message with any scientific research.

Beware! These fake news are circulating on the internet

Prospective mothers are more susceptible to certain respiratory tract infections. Still, there is currently no evidence that they would be more sensitive to the new coronavirus than the rest of the population, according to the WHO.

The World Health Organisation adds that research is still underway to map the full impact of an infection on pregnant women.

But in the meantime urges them to take the same precautions to prevent the virus as other people: keep enough distance and wash their hands regularly.

A patient receives the vaccine and dies

A Facebook post was claiming that one of the first recipients of a coronavirus vaccine has died: that is a piece of fake news. The message shows a photo of a volunteer claiming she died two days after administration.

Beware! These fake news are circulating on the internet

Microbiologist Elisa Granato (32) was the first volunteer to receive the potential vaccine against the coronavirus – developed by Oxford University – on Apr 23. The Italian scientist spoke to a BBC journalist, Fergus Walsh, on Apr 26 to debunk rumors that she might have died.

“Fake news has been circulating on social media that the first volunteer in the Oxford vaccine trial has died. This is not true! I spent several minutes this morning chatting with Elisa Granato via Skype. She is very much alive and told me she is feeling “absolutely fine”, Fergus Walsh wrote on Twitter.

Photo shows bodies of victims

A snapshot that is said to show corona victims looks false. A search via Google shows that it is a photo of news agency AP.

Beware! These fake news are circulating on the internet

The image dates from Dec 30, 2004, and shows victims of the devastating tsunami in Thailand.


Car catches fire with disinfectant hand gel

On social media, a video of a burning car is circulating in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The accompanying text states that a disinfectant alcohol gel on the dashboard caused the fire. But that explanation is not correct.

Beware! These fake news are circulating on the internet

Marcus Boava Bertoni, chief of the local fire brigade, explained that the fire started in the engine and spread through the vehicle. The fire occurred on Apr 24. “There was no disinfectant alcohol gel in the car,” said Bertoni.

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