Bananas, parcels and bats: the most popular myths about the coronavirus from China

The 2019 strain of coronavirus-nCoV spreading rapidly across China but even faster at the world goes rumors and alternative theories about him. They say that the virus can be cured with a solution of salt or tea Baths LAN Gen and that it spreads with bananas and parcels from AliExpress. About it writes BBC.

Бананы, посылки и летучие мыши: самые популярные мифы о коронавирусе из Китая

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1. Coronavirus comes from bananas

In Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine in social networks and messengers circulating a message stating that the coronavirus can be transmitted through bananas or other fruits. It looks like this:

“In the hospital Xinhua last night killed 23 people who were infected n7n9. The oldest was 35 years old, the youngest a year, doctors who had contact with them are in quarantine. The news of the main channel asked temporarily not to eat bananas, especially imported from the South.”

“As soon as you receive this message, immediately send people who survive, even better, send in group chats. For your own health, please send. And reduce the consumption of bananas! Immediately forward, do not answer, help other people to take care of themselves”.

In some embodiments, the text says that the information came from “Branch Chongming hospital Xinhua”. This hospital really exists and is located in Wuhan.

However, neither the expert, official or politician in China or abroad, has ever linked the virus with fruit. In addition, the report incorrectly named the strain of the virus.

Strain 2019-nCoV is transmitted by airborne droplets from person to person, experts remind. The virus cannot survive outside the human or animal body, at least in its current form.

2. Parcels from AliExpress

The same problem with the version that the virus can arrive from China in the package with the new earphones or the robot vacuum cleaner.

Company AliExpress in the first days of the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan was forced to declare that all its packages are sanitized.

A few days later, the Russian media reported that the Russians allegedly refuse to purchase on AliExpress. The company did not confirm that.

The relationship between AliExpress and coronavirus — a popular motif of memes and jokes.

But this is not true. Experts and public health officials assure that the catch of this parcel is almost impossible. Doctors very difficult to imagine that the virus can survive on the surface or inside of the parcel during the whole period of shipment.

Representatives of the Russian divisions AliExpress note that so far not a single fact of infection via the parcel has not been established.

In Ukraine some time ago there was news that the post office will no longer accept packages from China. They also turned out to be fake.

3. Alcohol

“Dad works in the Ministry of health. Today called for an urgent meeting. Came back and told my mom in confidence that the special order of the government to fight the Chinese fashion industry, all men who, unlike women and children most at risk of infection, every night you should drink at least 250 grams of vodka, whiskey or brandy”.

This is obviously a comic text today goes on the Internet, but in Wuhan, many do think that to be cured of coronavirus by using alcohol.

As told by the residents of Wuhan, some residents, mostly the older generation, are trying hard to recover strong alcohol.

“The older generation believes that alcohol kills virus: we have neighbors, the drunk walk, they say, is to stay alive,” — says a resident of the city of Antonina Startseva.

Experts remind that alcohol, in contrast, depresses the immune system and weakens the body, complicating the fight against the virus. Alcohol is better to use disinfection products or hands.

The only thing that today can help reduce the risk of infection is good hygiene.

In the us segment of social networks also originated the theory that to cope with the coronavirus may help Smoking cannabis, but she was proven wrong.

4. Salt solution

The myth that a coronavirus can be overcome if to gargle with a salt solution, originated in the Chinese segment of the Internet shortly after the Chinese authorities announced that the virus is transmitted by airborne droplets.

The author of this theory is called eminent Chinese of the Chung Nanshan pulmonologist from Medical University Guangzhou.

This rumor began with a review of a representative University hospital, where Chung, which he gave to the Xinhua news Agency.

The essence of the comment is not to say that illnesses can be healed by using salt solution, — the representative of medical institution only stressed the importance of hygiene and prevention.

But in social networks this Board has morphed into an alternative theory to combat the virus. A few interesting posts on behalf of Joya says: “Because the virus or bacteria after infection stay in the sinuses, the salt solution will kill them and prevent the disease.”

In fact, the virus can enter the body not only through the respiratory tract, but also, for example, through the mucous membrane of the eye. Therefore doctors recommend as little as possible to touch the face and avoid rubbing the eyes.

Information that the virus can be destroyed by salt solution from reputable sources has been received. The representative of the world health organization in an interview with Agence France-Presse confirmed that this information is fake.

5. It all started with the bats

In social networks spread a version that the current outbreak of coronavirus began after a young Chinese woman ate in the restaurant the soup bat.

As a rule, this version is accompanied by a video in which a girl actually gets out of the bowl of soup is something like a bat and bites her.

But not so simple. Video with girl and a bat appeared in social networks a few years before the current outbreak of the virus. The very same version of a called a manifestation of xenophobia and an attempt to play on people’s fear of the unknown.

As for the relationship between the virus and the wild animals, it is still there. Coronavirus, according to the authorities, do was born in the seafood market where they sell wild animals, which are then cooked and ate.

Such markets are throughout China and is really dangerous from the point of view of epidemiologists. As the author of the book “Infection” David Quammen, the emergence of a new virus in this market who experts predicted even a few years ago.

However, the video in question, has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It was not filmed in Wuhan, where bats are not considered to be a delicacy and not at all in China, and the Republic of Palau. Bats are eaten in Laos, and the African Republic of são Tomé and Principe.

In addition, previously, they were consumed in some regions of Italy. In the book of Augusto Toschi and Benedetto Lanza “Mammals: General, insectivores, bats. Fauna of Italy” says that after the Second world war the caves near the village Costozza in the province of Vicenza empty because the locals had eaten all the bats.

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