We check the facts.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest stories and updates.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba, during a press conference earlier today, was trying to compare Covid-19 to the Spanish Flu, which unfortunately resulted in public confusion as he presented incorrect facts.
During the press conference held at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Adham Baba mentioned the Spanish Flu, which he misidentified as the “Spanish Fly” multiple times.
Would you want to listen to someone who can’t differentiate between Spanish Fly & Spanish Flu? This is the Minister of Health, Adham Baba who also said drinking warm water will stop Covid-19 infection. 🤦♂️Embarrassingly, these are the quality/calibre of Ministers in the Malaysia. pic.twitter.com/2Tz4Zj7iV5— Eugene CHUNG (@eugenechung) July 12, 2021
In the clip, Adham Baba claims that globally, 2.8 million have died from Covid-19. The Spanish Fly in 1919 or 1916, had more or less 1 million deaths, not more than that, in the span of two years. He then dithers on the term “Spanish Fly” for a little longer before clarifying it as the “Spanish virus”.
Let’s check the facts
It is grievous to not clear up the misinformation so unfortunately presented by our Health Minister during the global pandemic. Here are the correct facts, according to the World Health Organization:
- At the time of writing, over 4 million people worldwide have died of Covid-19.
- The Spanish Flu happened from 1918 to 1920. The death toll is agreed to be around 20-50 million deaths, making it one of the deadliest pandemic in recorded history.
- The Spanish Flu is not a plague. Plagues are spread by bacterial means, whereas Covid-19 and the Spanish Flu are influenzas spread by viral means.
- The Spanish Flu, while named as such, did not originate in Spain. In fact, it was first observed in the United States, and then later in Europe. However, it was named as such because Spain, a neutral country in World War I, could freely report on it in their press, leading people to believe it came from Spain.
This comes about a year after Adham Baba made headlines as well for suggesting warm water as a treatment for Covid-19.
What the Spanish Fly REALLY is
While the Spanish Fly was absolutely not what our Health Minister was talking about, you may be surprised to learn that the Spanish Fly is actually a real thing.
In fact, the Spanish Fly has been around for a while, and used by humans liberally– for sex.
The Spanish Fly is an aphrodisiac which is suggested to heighten arousal and excitement during sexual intercourse, made from a kind of crushed insect called Spanish Flies (which is a misnomer, because they’re actually beetles) and popular in Europe.
However, while it has been liberally used by our ancestors, later research would find that the reason why it “works” is because the chemical produced is actually a natural toxin that leads to inflammation of the body.
It just so happened that the body part affected is the groin area, leading to an erection in males or a swollen labium in females.
We’re pretty sure this aphrodisiac was most definitely not what Adham Baba had in mind when he mentioned Spanish Fly in the context of Covid-19. In any case, the crushed beetles never killed over 20 million people.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.