People seem to think Corona beer is related to the deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, as searches for 'Corona beer virus' are trending

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corona beer coronavris wuhan

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People appear to be fretting that the Mexican beer Corona Extra is somehow linked to the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China that has killed more than 130 people.

Online searches for "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus" have increased substantially around the world since January 18, data from Google Trends shows.

A boom in similar search terms was first observed by Indy100 on Friday. Similar searches have risen since then.

From January 18 to January 26, searches for "corona beer virus" jumped 2,300% globally, Google Trends data shows.

Workers in protective suits check the temperature of passengers arriving at the Xianning North Station on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, in Xianning, a city bordering Wuhan to the north, in Hubei province, China January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Pollard

Reuters

Searches for "beer virus" jumped 744% in the same period, and searches for "beer coronavirus" jumped 3,233%.

While the numbers are striking, it is important to note that Google's search engine is programmed to auto-suggest terms based on popular terms. The boom in searches for corona beer and the virus could therefore be self reinforcing.

The first reported case of the deadly coronavirus was December 8 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and the virus began receiving widespread media coverage this month.

Wuhan and several other Chinese cities have since been quarantined. As of Wednesday, 132 people have been killed and 6,000 infected.

Seventeen countries have reported cases of the coronavirus, including the US.

A Google Trends graph showing how searches for terms like

Google Trends

Cambodia and Denmark topped the list of places that saw a surge in searches for "Corona beer virus," the data shows.

Search data from the US also shows people increasingly searching for the beer and the virus together.

Wuhan corona beeer US map trends

Google Trends

There is no connection between the beer and the virus.

The name coronavirus comes from the fact that under a microscope the virus has crown-like spikes protruding from it.

"Corona" in Latin means crown, and the word is the same in Spanish. Corona beer originated in Mexico.

In English, the anatomical term "corona" is used for body parts resembling a crown.

coronavirus

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A Twitter user named Joonas Tuhkuri on Tuesday noted that the stock price of Corona's parent company did not appear to have been negatively affected by the outbreak.

"We believe, by and large, that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and our business," Maggie Bowman, a representative for Corona's producer Constellation Brands, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

This isn't the first homonym involving a disease and a brand. According to The New York Times, during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, sales of the diet candy Ayds dropped approximately 50%.

The Wuhan virus has prompted numerous other false narratives. Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory have advocated drinking bleach to kill the coronavirus, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

Holly Secon contributed reporting to this post.

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