Almost 30% of the Americans believe that the new coronavirus was certainly created in a lab, despite the evidence from the experts suggesting the opposite.
Although public health officials furiously work to eliminate this misinformation, it is still present among Americans.
Around 23% of adults believe the virus was deliberately created, but according to the genetic detectives who are studying the origin of the coronavirus, this theory is certainly not true.
Almost 43% of the American population said the virus probably appeared naturally, which is most likely to be true, according to the experts.
Several factors affected the results of the poll, such as the age and the level of education. For example, younger adults were more likely to say the virus was developed in a lab. Also, highly educated people were less likely to say the virus was made in a lab in comparison to people with poor education.
This poll was carried out between 11th and 16th March. During this time the WHO declared COVID-19 pandemic but most states hadn’t received the movement control orders yet.
Experts admit that the origin of the virus is still open to debate, but they claim it wasn’t created in a lab.
Although little do we know about the virus, experts agree on the theory that coronavirus is more likely originated in bats.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which usually sicken animals. However, some of them like SARS and COVID-19 jump that barrier and sicken humans as well.
Early in February, Chinese researchers published an article saying that COVID-19 is almost 96% genetically identical to a bat coronavirus.
It is also disputable whether the virus that causes COVID-19 disease transferred from a bat to a human or there was an intermediary animal between.
Some experts believe that a bat had infected a farm animal that was brought to the wet market alive, while others believe that the source of this outbreak was a farmer. Namely, coronavirus is present in the bat feces which is called guano.
Farmers harvest the guano to fertilize their fields. So, this may indicate that a farmer who got infected came to Wuhan and spread the disease.
However, the belief that the coronavirus outbreak started from the wet market is questionable too. Although some virus experts claim that the hygienic conditions on the market were suitable enough for “zoonotic spillover”, a study published in the Lancet shows that one-third of the very first 41 confirmed patients had no contact with the wet market.
Another conspiracy theory is that 5G networkers are linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has started as a fringe theory among QAnon and New Agers followers and soon enough it ended up on the Instagram accounts of some celebrities.
During the previous pandemics in the past, the information didn’t travel faster than the virus itself. According to the WHO, the coronavirus pandemic has given way to a so-called “infodemic”, which means sharing inaccurate information about the origin of the virus and its transmission.
As a result, WhatsApp is limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded to prevent the infiltration of conspiracy theories among multiple groups at a time. Social media also are buffering the messages on top of search pages to warn users of misinformation.