Fact Check: A Banana A Day Does NOT Keep The Coronavirus Away

Hoax Alert

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fact Check: A Banana A Day Does NOT Keep The Coronavirus Away

Does eating a banana a day keep the novel coronavirus away? No, that's not true: Bananas may be a good source of potassium and other vitamins, but they have not been proven to prevent COVID-19, the scientific name for the novel coronavirus.

The claim appeared in several video posts (archived here), one of which was published on Facebook by bintjbeil.org Michigan on March 14, 2020. It opened:

Having a Banana a day keep the Coronavirus away

Users on social media only saw this:

The post was brought to Lead Stories' attention by a reader tip. The false video splices together a legitimate news clip from an Australian Broadcasting Corporation and footage from a Wall Street Journal online report. However, those clips have nothing to do with eating bananas.

The video then overlays pictures of bananas with the following onscreen captions:

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide.
such as vitamin C. All of these support heart health.
people who follow a high fiber diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Bananas contain water and fiber, both of which promote regularity and encourage digestive health.

The video then shows viruses (incorrectly labeled as antigens instead of pathogens) being repelled by a couple of bananas. The video then includes more captions:

Research made by scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia, have proven that bananas, improve your immune system due to the super source of Vitamins B-6 and helps prevent coronavirus

Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus AWAY

Rappler, an online news website based in the Philippines, has debunked this viral claim. It posted an email response from the University of Queensland:

The video is fake and we would strongly discourage people from sharing this information. We would suggest you share your concerns with the social media platforms.

There is currently no known vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus, and researchers have not said that consuming certain foods could stave off the illness. The World Health Organization advises that people can reduce their risk of infection by following these tips:

• Clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
• Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow
• Avoid close contact (1 metre or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

As Lead Stories has noted previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said, "No specific treatment for COVID-19 is currently available."

Bananas may offer some healthful benefits, but they have not been proven to prevent the novel coronavirus.

Other fact checks by Lead Stories concerning coronavirus misinformation include:

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

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