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:
- Fact Check: NOT 10,000 Deaths In Virus Outbreak in Michigan, Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi
- Fact Check: CDC Did NOT Recommend Men Shave Their Beards To Protect Against Coronavirus
- Fact Check: Florida Man NOT Arrested For Robbery Using Cough As A Weapon
- Fact Check: Lysol Products Can Kill Older Strains Of Coronavirus, But Tests Have NOT Scientifically Proven They Kill Novel Coronavirus
- Fact Check: Hair Weaves And Lace Front Wigs Made In China NOT Likely To Contain Coronavirus
- Fact Check: Scientists Did NOT Discover That Cocaine Kills Coronavirus
- Fact Check: NO Evidence Coronavirus Is Bioweapon Leaked From Wuhan Lab
- Fake News: Six Coronavirus Cases NOT Confirmed In Wichita, Kansas (Or Several Other U.S. Cities)
- Fake News: 20 Million Chinese Did NOT Convert To Islam, And It Was NOT Proven That Coronavirus Epidemic Did Not Afflict Muslims
- Fake News: NO Evidence To Support Claim From Bioweapons Expert Who Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare Weapon
- Fake News: Popping Bubble Wrap Does NOT Expose People To Coronavirus
- Fake News: Data From Windy.com Does NOT Show Massive Release Of Sulfur Dioxide Gas Near Wuhan
- Fake News: Latest Research Published By Chinese Scientists Did NOT Say Coronavirus Will Render Most Male Patients Infertile
- Fake News: NO Proof That High-Rise Buildings Have Become Human Incinerators To Combat Coronavirus
- Fake News: Residential Building NOT In Wuhan, NOT Set Ablaze To Control Coronavirus Spread