Are lethal flying bugs claiming lives in India and China?

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As already seen on various social media platforms, spreading fake news to gain increased engagement with people has become a common practice. Facebook has actively taken steps to curb the spread of fake news on its platform, and it has done so to a certain extent. But fake news is still happening on the platform. The video of “deadly flying” insects being killed in China and Iran is one of those posts that has spread false information.

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Deadly flying insects in India?

Courtesy of Facebook

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The footage filmed on the various social media platforms from India actually has nothing to do with deadly insects. The tragic material actually came from Vishakhapatnam in May 2020 when a gas leak was reported in the area. The footage shared in the videos does not show the effects of a deadly insect attack, but rather the aftermath of the gas leak in Vishakhapatnam. The footage is specifically from Vizag in Vishakhapatnam, where eight people, including one minor, were reportedly passed out from the gas leak.

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India is currently not exposed to any fatal insect infestations. The most recent infestation in India is that of the grasshopper. Massive schools of desert locusts have made their way into the country and have entered states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab. Grasshoppers are known to attack plants, plantations, and vegetables, but are not known to attack humans or animals.

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While lately rumors of murder hornets coming to India have been making the rounds on the internet as well. The hornets are known to be poisonous and can kill people, but they have not yet been reported to enter India. Murder hornets are reportedly native to Southeast Asia, China, and Taiwan, and none of those places have reported official deaths.

Google Trends Analysis

Since fake news always attracts people’s attention, it also leads a number of people to research it on the internet. Many Google searches for deadly flying insects have been observed on Google recently. People searched for terms like “flying insects in China / India” or “deadly flying insects”. Check out the Google Trends analysis below –

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Courtesy of Google Trends