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These Are the Worst Fake News Stories About The Wuhan Coronavirus
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  • One man has been confirmed to have died of the 2019-nCoV in the Philippines with 36 patients under investigation (PUIs), as of February 2, 2020, at 12 p.m., according to the latest update of Department of Health (DOH).

    According to The New York Times, the man, a resident of Wuhan, died of "severe pneumonia." He arrived in the country with a 38-year-old woman whom DOH earlier confirmed as the first novel coronavirus patient in the country. They arrived in the country on January 21. Cebu Pacific confirmed the woman was on one of its flights.

    Before the death was announced, our government announced a travel ban to non-Filipino travelers coming from China, Macao and Hong Kong.

    The announcement that the first death of a person with 2019-nCoV outside of China is in the Philippines will not help an already worried country. Comments on social media about the new coronavirus and the government's actions have been rife with anger, anxiety, and fear. 

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    The worst (and dangerous) part about this health crisis is how much misinformation is speading. A disturbing number of people already think that you get coronavirus by drinking Corona Beer (for the record, the beer will not give you the virus).

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    Fake news about 2019-nCoV

    Some information, however, are so convincing they seem true, and that is actually what could lead to more people getting infected. At times like this, we could all use a little less fear-mongering and fake news about the deadly virus. So before you click that share "button," make sure it comes from a credible source. Below are some of the misinformation being circulated on social media.

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    1. Gargling salt water can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    It might alleviate halitosis to some extent, but rinsing your mouth with salt water does not prevent infection from any outbreak.

    According to the purveyors of the false information, the salt would kill viruses and bacteria entering or leaving your mouth. This is untrue. The novel coronavirus is a respiratory disease that affects the upper respiratory system (and therefore thrives in the lungs, not in the mouth). The World Health Organization said saline solution does not help in protecting against the disease.

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    2. Oregano essential oil will protect you from coronavirus.

    In a SmartParenting.com.ph article, a certified aromatherapist clarified oregano essential oil as a cure or protection was debunked back in May 2003 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and (FTC) Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    In 2002 to 2003, the world was dealing with another outbreak, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that happens to be a coronavirus as well. In a press release at the time, the FTC and FDA were warning consumers about websites offering SARS “prevention kits,” which included oregano essential oils.

    The aromatherapist said oregano essential oil showed potential for its antiviral activity but not for the Wuhan coronavirus.

    3. Coronavirus Hospital in Wuhan, China was built in two days.

    A post circulating on Facebook claims China built a hospital dedicated to treating patients infected with the coronavirus in two days. This is false. The image of the hospital complex is a stock photo from a year ago. When Agence France-Presse (AFP) visited the site, it found the hospital is still under construction.

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    4. The coronavirus was a government experiment

    This conspiracy theory alleges that the novel coronavirus was created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. The theory does not explain why the virus spread in China.

    According to the conspiracy theory circulating on Facebook, the CDC patented the disease. However, upon further investigation, the Inquirer reports that the patents are for vaccines and other drugs made to combat various strains of coronavirus.

    5. Doctors in Wuhan are projecting millions will be killed by the coronavirus.

    There is no such projection made by any doctor in China.

    6. A video of a Wuhan market shows the origin of the virus.

    A circulating video on Facebook shows a marketplace in Wuhan where the novel coronavirus purportedly originated. In the video, various wild and exotic animals such as rats, bats, and snakes are being sold. The video was not shot in China, but is AFP footage of the Langowan market in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.

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    This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.

    *Edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.


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