Fact-checked by: VERA Files

2020/02/28 | Philippines

Partially false: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the novel coronavirus is similar to HIV in that the virus weakens the body, destroys white blood cells, bacteria takes over, leading to pneumonia.

Explanation: The WHO said it is “not right” to compare the two viruses because they “differ in nature.” The most common symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Most people, or about 80 percent, recover from the disease without needing special treatment. HIV “targets the immune system and weakens people's defense systems against infections and some types of cancer.” The virus “destroys and impairs the function of immune cells,” thus infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient.

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This false claim originated from: Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte

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