Coronavirus conspiracy theories – claims bug was 'created by CIA' and a 'hoax to stop Brexit' are FALSE

CORONAVIRUS is on the verge of becoming a global pandemic and dangerous conspiracy theories about the disease are spreading faster than ever.

Some online crackpots have claimed the virus is the work of the CIA, while other wacky webizens allege the outbreak is a "hoax" designed to stop Brexit.

Experts across the globe have blasted the spread of such theories, which threaten to "incite violence" among panicking citizens.

"Conspiracy theories can be very harmful for society," researchers Daniel Jolley, of Northumbria University, and Pia Lamberty, of Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, wrote in The Conversation last week.

"Not only can they influence people's health choices, they can interfere with how different groups relate to each other.

"They also increase hostility and violence towards those who are perceived to be 'conspiring'."

Coronavirus was 'engineered' by the CIA or China

A handful of cranks seem to believe that the coronavirus was created in a lab by either China or the USA.

The reasons for this vary – some say the bug is a way for Beijing to "cleanse" China of its elderly residents.

Others allege the disease is a plot by US spies to tank China's economy.

Claims that coronavirus, or more specifically the COVID-19 strain that's currently spreading across the globe, was created by people don't line up with the scientific evidence.

Scientists who recently examined the virus' DNA came to the conclusion that it was entirely new and originated in nature, not a laboratory.

The large group of experts announced their findings after scanning the genomes of coronavirus strains from multiple countries.

The research was published in respected journal The Lancet.

Aside from the science, there are also practical reasons for disbelieving the "engineered virus" claims.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense for the CIA to attack China's economy using the virus, as it appears the US economy will also feel the effects.

President Donald Trump admitted on Thursday the US economy "might" take a hit from the outbreak.

In terms of a campaign to "cleanse" China of its elderly or ill, the virus has killed 3,000 people in the country so far – a tiny fraction of its 1billion population.

With new cases in China now slowing down, it is farcical to view the virus as an attempt to cull specific groups within the population.

Outbreak is a 'hoax' designed to prevent Brexit

Some nutters have suggested coronavirus is part of some vast conspiracy to put the brakes on Brexit.

Boris Johnson only recently signed the Brexit divorce treaty but a shed-load of trade deals and other agreements must be made before it's official.

However, one deranged Facebook user has suggested coronavirus has been made up to slow down our split from the European Union.

"Anyone else think that part of the coronavirus hoax is to undermine and prevent Brexit from happening?" their post reads.

For what it's worth, there's pretty irrefutable evidence that Cornonavirus is not a hoax – whether as part of a plot to bring down Brexit or not.

It would be next-to-impossible to coordinate the "fake" infections of more than 100,000 people across dozens of nations.

What's more, the suggestion that it's possible to forge the deaths of almost 3,500 people across those countries is outlandish at best.

The truth is clear: The coronavirus crisis is real and has not been invented to quietly further political agendas.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.

Source: NHS

Pets can spread the coronavirus

One of the easier dodgy rumours to debunk is that pets can spread the coronavirus to people.

This may have come from an unproven theory that the virus first transmitted to humans from a bat at an animal market in Wuhan, China.

It may have also come from rumours that a dog in Hong Kong has contracted the virus.

People can spread the coronavirus to each other through close contact.

There's no good evidence, however, that cats and dogs can get infected or give the virus to their owners.

According to the World Health Organisation: "At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.

"However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.

"This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans."

US and UK governments created the virus to 'make money'

There have been suggestions from some nutty corners that the UK and US governments have a hand in the coronavirus outbreak.

They allege that the virus was created to allow western research teams to invent and sell a vaccine potentially worth billions.

As with the vast majority of conspiracy theories, the claims are not based in fact.

As discussed earlier, there's a boat-load of evidence that the virus originated in nature, not a scientific lab.

On top of this, the argument makes little sense in the grand scheme of how the near-pandemic has panned out.

Scientists are yet to produce anything close to a vaccine, and it appears we won't get one for a while yet.

The UK and US economies are already bracing for a massive hit as a result of the virus.

Any possible financial gain from a vaccine, therefore, would likely be offset by the rippling effects of the outbreak on the global economy.

In other news, you can read all the latest on the Coronavirus crisis here.

A scam email offering "Coronavirus safety measures" hit inboxes this week.

And, the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles could be delayed by the outbreak.

Have you heard any bonkers Coronavirus conspiracy theories? Let us know in the comments!

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