- Online rumors claim people in China are spitting on each other to infect others with the 2019-nCoV coronavirus
- One of the videos shows a man coughing in the faces of medical staff after they did not have his medicine but the man reportedly did not have the coronavirus
- Other videos showing spit fights date back as far as 2017 and are not related tot he current 2019-nCoV outbreak
One of the more bizarre claims coming from ground zero of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak is that infected people are spitting on each other to infect others with the virus. There is little to no truth to this claim and the reality is even stranger than the claim.
Man Deliberately Coughs On Nurses
The claim appears to originate from a video of a man said to be infected with the coronavirus that was caught on surveillance camera coughing in the face of medical staff. The man is seen approaching a receptionist area where two employees are on computers. He passes a piece of paper then is seen pulling down his mask and deliberately coughing on both employees.
According to the New York Post, the man in the video was angry with the hospital staff after having a fever of 102.2 degrees for two days. When the man learned the hospital in Xiaogan, China did not have his medicine he lost his temper and coughed in the faces of the staff. The man was from Wuhan—the heart of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak—but it was reported he was only diagnosed with the flu, not the coronavirus.
Old Spit Fighting Videos Resurface Online
Other videos have been uploaded to social media making similar claims. Videos of men spit fighting are falsely labeled as people trying to spread the coronavirus. One video on YouTube titled “Wuhan people spitting and spreading CORONA – shocking footage released – Corona infections” shows a compilation of several of these spit fights.
It turns out the clips in the video are from spit fights that happened long before the current coronavirus outbreak. Yes, spit fights are apparently a thing. The video clips being used to spread the rumor date back as early as 2017. Daily Mail reported on one of the clips in 2017 after it went viral.
The disgusting confrontation occurred outside the police station in Liangshan County, China’s Guangdong province. The argument reportedly began over a business dispute. Both men were detained since “spitting in other people’s faces in public is illegal as it is counts as insulting someone in public.”
One of the other clips seen in the video was reported to have happened in Tianjin City on September 22, 2018. The dispute was said to have started over a dispute on a construction project.
The claim that videos show people spitting in other people’s faces to spread the coronavirus is false.