There have been reports of people who think 5G mobile networks have caused the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in Cellular Microbiology, University of Reading, said:
“The idea that COVID19 is caused by 5G mobile phone signals is complete rubbish. This is a disease which numerous doctors and scientists around the world have said is caused by a virus, something completely different to a mobile phone signal.
“Viruses are tiny particles made up of genetic material, wrapped in a layer of proteins and fats. They have no metabolism and can’t reproduce without causing an infection.
“In the case of this coronavirus, it infects cells in human lungs in order to replicate, damaging them and also causing a harmful immune reaction in the process.
“5G radio signals are electromagnetic waves, very similar to those already used by mobile phones. Electromagnetic waves are one thing, viruses are another, and you can’t get a virus off a phone mast.”
Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, said:
“The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness.
Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things. As different as chalk and cheese.
The internet connections these networks give us are one of the most important tools we are using to coordinate our response to the epidemic and efforts to do research to overcome it. Damaging phone masts is like knocking holes in your lifeboats while your ship sinks.”
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Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said:
“Virus experts have looked at the genetic code of the virus to track its origins. Epidemiologists have tracked the spread of the virus around the world, identifying risk factors to advise policy.
“Diagnostics researchers are developing tests to identify those with the infection and those who have been infected.
“Collectively, we know how infectious diseases spread. Scientific papers are published, new knowledge is generated. That is what experts do.
“Conspiracy theorists are a public health danger who once read a Facebook page. Anti-vaccination activists have consistently shown their capabilities to harm child health with numerous baseless claims.
“Here, we also see similar groups of people keen to show their ignorance on a topic where they have no helpful expertise, nor any inclination to post useful public health messages.
“The celebrities fanning the flames of these conspiracy theorists should be ashamed. They have large followings and thus a mandate to act responsibly.
“They may have noticed that there’s currently a pandemic going on. Now is a very good time indeed to listen to the experts on infectious disease epidemiology and public health.”
Prof Brendan Wren, Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
“There is no scientifically credible evidence to link the introduction of 5G masts with the COVID-19 outbreak. This would be both a physical and biological impossibility.”
[Science Media Centre]