In addition to scientists, operator associations and the government came out to deny 'conspiracy theory' saying that radio waves helped spread coronavirus.
Conspiracy theories that 5G technology helps spread the new coronavirus have been denied and criticized by the scientific community.
Videos shared on British social media show images of mobile phone antennas (or poles) on fire in Birmingham and in towns in the county of Merseyside, where the city of Liverpool, England is located, along with statements from the "theory".
The posts were shared on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – many made by verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.
But scientists say the idea of a connection between covid-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus, and the 5G network is "total nonsense", as well as being biologically impossible.
Conspiracy theories were classified as "the worst type of false news" by the medical director of the National Health Service in England, Stephen Powis.
The posts suggest that 5G, the newest generation of mobile telephony and that depends on signals transmitted by radio waves, is somehow responsible for transmitting the coronavirus.
Theories appear to have emerged through Facebook posts in late January, around the same time that the first cases were reported in the United States.
The false theory points to two points: the first is that 5G can suppress the immune system, making people more susceptible to catching the virus. The second, that the virus can somehow be transmitted through the use of 5G technology.
Both ideas are "total nonsense," says Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cell microbiology at the University of Reading in the UK.
"The idea that 5G lowers the immune system does not stand up to scientific scrutiny," says Clarke.
"Your immune system can be affected by all sorts of things: being tired one day or not having a good diet. These fluctuations are not big, but they can make you more susceptible to catching viruses."
Although very strong radio waves can cause some kind of heating, 5G is not powerful enough to heat someone to the point of causing any harmful effect.
"Radio waves can disrupt your physiology as they heat you up, which means that your immune system may not work. But the energy levels of 5G radio waves are tiny and not even close enough to affect your immune system. There are many studies on this, "says Clarke.
The radio waves involved in 5G or other mobile phone technologies are at the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Less powerful than visible light, they are not strong enough to damage cells, unlike radiation at the higher frequency end of the spectrum, which includes the sun's rays and X-rays used in medicine.
It would also be impossible for 5G technology to transmit the virus, adds Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, also in the UK.
"The current epidemic is caused by a virus transmitted from one infected person to another. We know that this is true. We even have the virus growing in our laboratory, obtained from a person with the disease. Viruses and electromagnetic waves are completely different things," he says.
It is also important to note another "hole" in this theory: the coronavirus is spreading to cities in the United Kingdom where 5G has not yet been implemented – and in countries like Iran and Brazil, which have not yet implemented the technology.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, there were several hairy stories about 5G circulating on social networks. Some were checked by the BBC, such as one that claimed that the new technology would pose health risks.
Earlier this year, a comprehensive study by the International Commission for the Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) countered the allegations, saying there was no evidence that mobile networks caused cancer or other diseases.
But, for some reason, the misinformation on the subject seems to have increased.
The association of British operators Mobile UK said that false rumors and theories linking 5G to coronavirus are "worrying", while the UK Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reiterated that "there is absolutely no evidence that proves this association ".
Viruses invade human or animal cells and use them to reproduce, which causes the infection. Viruses cannot live long outside a living being; therefore, they need to find a way to get in – usually through coughing or sneezing droplets.
Genome sequencing of the new coronavirus suggests that it jumped from animals to humans – and then started to move from humans to humans.
The first record of the coronavirus in Brazil was on February 24. A 61-year-old businessman, who lives in São Paulo (SP), was infected after returning from a trip, between February 9th and 21st, to the Italian region of Lombardy, the most affected in the European country that has more cases outside China.
According to the Ministry of Health, the 61-year-old businessman had symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat and runny nose. His relatives started to be monitored. Days later, examinations showed that a person linked to the patient also had the new coronavirus and transmitted the virus to a third person. All remained quarantined in their homes for a period of at least 14 days.
After the first case, several other records started to be made in Brazil. Many came from countries with numerous cases of the new coronavirus, but later cases of local and, finally, community transmission were recorded.
Two weeks later, it was announced that the 61-year-old businessman is cured of the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The first death in Brazil of a 62-year-old was confirmed on March 17. He lived in São Paulo (SP).
The main recommendation of health professionals who monitor the outbreak is simple, but quite efficient: washing your hands with soap after using the bathroom, whenever you get home or before handling food.
Ideally, rub your hands for between 15 and 20 seconds to ensure that viruses and bacteria are eliminated.
If you are in a public environment, for example, or with a large crowd, do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes without first washing your hands or cleaning them with alcohol. The virus is transmitted by air, but also by contact.
It is also important to keep the environment clean, sanitizing surfaces such as furniture and cell phones with disinfectant solutions.
To clean the phone, you can use a solution with about half of water and half of alcohol, in addition to a clean cloth.