A fabricated CNN report carried by a 14-month-old Facebook (FB) post is circulating anew among netizens, peddling the false claim that constant engagement in sex “kills” the COVID-19-causing virus in a person’s body.
There is no existing evidence proving that frequent sex rids one’s body of the SARS-CoV-2. Sexual intercourse is also not listed as one of the possible treatments for COVID-19, as per the World Health Organization (WHO).
Clinical trials on various drugs and medications are currently being held globally as part of the search for COVID-19’s cure. But there is still no one-size-fits-all treatment against the viral disease.
According to the WHO, the COVID-19 vaccines that have already been administered in at least 176 countries “produce protection against the disease” through the development of immunity, resulting in a “reduced risk” of acquiring the illness. However, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not an assurance that a person will no longer contract the disease.
Additionally, the established fact that the virus can spread through “respiratory droplets and smaller aerosols” from an infected person’s mouth or nose in a “close contact” setting, makes engagement in sex more of a risk factor in transmitting the virus further.
WHO adds that the risk of communicating the disease increases during instances “in which people are in close proximity to one another for long periods of time”, and when engaging in activities “where more particles are expelled from the mouth”.
While there had already been studies which looked into the possibility of sexually transmitting COVID-19 — including one that was able to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the semen of individuals who either had or currently have COVID-19 — there is still no conclusive evidence to prove that the disease can be spread through sexual intercourse.
The WHO maintains that the best way to keep the virus away is by taking precautions such as social distancing and proper respiratory hygiene, wearing of masks, and the regular disinfecting of hands and surfaces.
Fake ‘CNN report’ created from a meme template
A search in CNN’s official website shows that the media organization carried no news report titled “constant sex kills coronavirus,” contrary to what the FB post suggets.
The altered photo in that FB post is a screenshot of a tweet quoting another tweet. Captioned with “found the cure guys! #COVID2019”, the fabricated CNN report appears to be a frame taken from a TV broadcast, and features CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, the CNN logo, a breaking news label, and a news ticker that reads “Constant Sex Kills Coronavirus”.
The photo of the fake report was likely taken from a gallery of images browsed using a desktop or a laptop computer, and not directly from a video of a news broadcast.
Reverse image search revealed that the fabricated CNN report was created from a meme template that has been widely used in producing false news reports, including other erroneous claims on COVID-19 cures. Its oldest retrievable copy could be traced back to a July 2015 post in a blog named “Meme fun”.
The bogus CNN report carrying the specific claim on sex as cure against COVID-19 has been going around as early as March 2020. It had been debunked by other fact checking organizations such as Nigeria’s Dubawa, Africa Check, and Health Analytics Data.
The spurious FB post carrying the fabricated report recirculated as countries all over the world continue to fight the pandemic, which has already recorded over 167.6 million cases globally as of May 26. In the Philippines, the reported cases have climbed to 1.18 million, with over 48,000 active cases, 20,000 deaths, and 1.12 million recoveries.