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No evidence mosquitoes can spread coronavirus

March 13, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: As the weather gets warmer, mosquitoes will spread the coronavirus after they bite people who are infected.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. There is no evidence that mosquitoes transmit coronavirus. 

THE FACTS: Social media posts, including a TikTok post with more than one million likes, suggests that people can catch coronavirus from mosquitoes who bite those infected with the virus.

The World Health Organization addresses the claim on their mythbusters page saying: “To date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.

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The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Health organizations recommend that people wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. They also suggest avoiding close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

“London Bridge is Falling Down” plays in the background of the TikTok post with the message, ”when you realize it’s about to start getting warm and the mosquitos abboutta start sucking the blood from corona infected people and passing it on throughout the country.

Medical experts have been debunking rumors on TikTok with posts of their own. The platform, which started as a space where teens shared viral dance videos, now features videos of teens posting about the virus with music in the background or skits making light of the situation. 

WHO has launched a specific account to combat misinformation on TikTok.  

The organization declared the virus a pandemic on Wednesday. A majority of people who are infected with the virus will experience mild or moderate symptoms such as a fever or cough. More severe symptoms include pneumonia. 

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536