Fact check: No, this 1989 newspaper article is not about covid-19 but about coronavirus in chickens – Fact checker

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We are fooled about covid-19, according to a Facebook user. He wants to reinforce this statement by publishing a newspaper article from 1989 that already mentions the corona virus. However, that article is not about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes covid-19, but about a corona virus in chickens.

On September 15, a Facebook user posts a message online. It contains a newspaper article allegedly published in the Algemeen Dagblad in 1989, entitled ‘Vaccine against coronavirus causes new diseases’.

The author adds the following comment: “Well folks now it gets really interesting look at this article from the 1989 general newspaper. Do you still believe in this Covid 19 Bullshit ???? We are just being fooled. ‘ The message is shared 250 times and reaches at least 80,000 people in total.

© Facebook

According to the author of the Facebook message, it would be an article from the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD), but that turns out to be incorrect: in the header of the article we read that it concerns a piece from the Agrarisch Dagblad of 2 February 1989. The Agrarisch Dagblad is a Dutch trade magazine for the agricultural sector, which has been published since 2012 under the name Boerderij Today.

Agrarisch Dagblad
© Agrarisch Dagblad

Chicken disease

However, the coronavirus discussed in this article is not the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes covid-19. This was not the case in 1989. The first cases of SARS-CoV-2 did not occur until the end of December 2019, according to the World Health Organization.

The article is about the Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), a type of coronavirus that only occurs in poultry and was already discovered in 1931. It causes respiratory diseases, affects egg-laying behavior and leads to high chicken mortality, as we read in the article. .

‘There are many different coronaviruses. IBV belongs to the gamma corona viruses, SARS-CoV-2 to the beta corona viruses. The two are not related, ‘said Arjan Stegeman, veterinary epidemiologist and professor at Utrecht University to the Dutch fact checkers of DPA, and it is also confirmed to us via email by virologist Marc Van Ranst.

Mutations

Moreover, the title of the article is misleading and incorrect information has also crept into the piece. ‘The IBV vaccine does not cause new diseases. The IBV virus is very susceptible to mutations, and no vaccine protects against all variants of a disease. It is a phenomenon that you also see with the flu: vaccines put pressure on the viruses. In order to escape from the vaccine and survive, they mutate and those mutations then predominate until the vaccine is adapted again. So it’s not about new diseases, but about mutations of IBV. ‘ Professor Stegeman explained this to DPA, and according to Marc Van Ranst that is also completely correct.

CONCLUSION

A newspaper article from 1989, according to a Facebook user, would prove that the coronavirus already existed then, and so we are ‘being fooled’ about covid-19. However, the article in question is not about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes covid-19, but about the Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), a coronavirus that occurs in chickens and was discovered in 1931. We therefore rate the Facebook post as false.

On September 15, a Facebook user posts a message online. It contains a newspaper article allegedly published in the Algemeen Dagblad in 1989, entitled ‘Vaccine against coronavirus causes new diseases’. The author adds the following comment: “Well folks now it gets really interesting look at this article from the 1989 general newspaper. Do you still believe in this Covid 19 Bullshit ???? We are just being fooled. ‘ The message is shared 250 times and reaches a total of at least 80,000 people. According to the author of the Facebook message, it would be an article from the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD), but that turns out to be incorrect: read the header of the article We know that it concerns a piece from the Agrarisch Dagblad of 2 February 1989. The Agrarisch Dagblad is a Dutch trade magazine for the agricultural sector, which has been published since 2012 under the name Boerderij Today. However, the coronavirus discussed in this article is not the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes covid-19. This was not the case in 1989. The first cases of SARS-CoV-2 did not occur until the end of December 2019, according to the World Health Organization. The article is about the Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), a type of coronavirus that only occurs in poultry and was discovered in 1931. It causes respiratory diseases, influences egg-laying behavior and leads to large chicken deaths, as we read in the article. There are many different coronaviruses. IBV belongs to the gamma corona viruses, SARS-CoV-2 to the beta corona viruses. The two are not related, ‘said Arjan Stegeman, veterinary epidemiologist and professor at Utrecht University to the Dutch fact checkers of DPA, and it is also confirmed to us via email by virologist Marc Van Ranst. Mutations In addition, the title of the article is misleading and incorrect information has also crept into the piece. ‘The IBV vaccine does not cause new diseases. The IBV virus is very susceptible to mutations, and no vaccine protects against all variants of a disease. It is a phenomenon that you also see with the flu: vaccines put pressure on the viruses. In order to escape from the vaccine and survive, they mutate and those mutations then predominate until the vaccine is adapted again. So it’s not about new diseases, but about mutations of IBV. ‘ Professor Stegeman explained this to DPA, and according to Marc Van Ranst that is also completely correct.







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