The Coronavirus Collection: Origins and Spread

Snopes investigates rumors and memes about the and origins and spread of COVID-19.

12 Articles
  • Published 6 March 2020
12 Articles

The novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in 2019 and quickly spread throughout that country and beyond. Its origins and development into a pandemic prompted rumors and misinformation, and these investigations by Snopes. 

Check out the other categories to read the rest of our COVID-19 fact checks.

What questions do you have? Help Snopes investigate rumors around the novel coronavirus by sending us your tips.

Did a Chinese Intelligence Officer Reveal the ‘Truth About the Coronavirus Outbreak’?

A piece of horror fiction was a little too believable for some readers.

False
Did Health Experts ‘Predict’ New Coronavirus Could Kill 65 Million People?

Some details from a mock health exercise were confused with real-world reports.

False
Was That Cough You Had Last November or December COVID-19?

Scientists do not know exactly when or where the first COVID-19 case occurred. Does that mean it could have occurred anywhere?

News
Was COVID-19 Discovered in the US and South Korea on the Same Day?

These two countries took different approaches in the early days of the pandemic and saw vastly different results.

True
Is Coronavirus Spreading Faster Than SARS, Ebola, and Swine Flu?

A video clip supposedly showing the exponential spread of a new coronavirus misled some viewers.

Mixture
Did Italy Confirm Almost 200 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours?

As of early March 2020, Italy had seen the worst COVID-19 outbreak outside Asia.

True
Did a Doctor in Italy Warn Coronavirus Wasn’t Just a ‘Bad Flu’?

Physician: "The situation is now nothing short of dramatic. No other words come to mind."

Correct Attribution
Did Chinese Doctors Confirm African People Are Genetically Resistant to Coronavirus?

Misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak seems to have traveled farther than the virus itself.

False
Can Contaminated Money Spread the New Coronavirus?

The World Health Organization has advised people to “wash their hands after handling banknotes.”

News
Is COVID-19 Being Spread Through Gas Pumps?

Gas pump handles are one of many common objects that could be contaminated, so consumers should take reasonable precautions to avoid exposure.

Mixture
Was COVID-19 Found in Packages of Toilet Paper?

The last thing readers needed amid the 2020 coronavirus pandemic was fiction disguised as "news."

False
Will Warm Weather Kill Coronavirus?

U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped the virus would go away in April 2020 because the "heat generally speaking kills this kind of virus."

Unproven