Rumor: Aosa, a type of edible green seaweed, is effective against the new coronavirus

seaweed farm on the sea

COVID-19 rumors spread like a virus in Japan

The rumor originated from a now-deleted press release published by Chubu University in Aichi Prefecture that reportedly boasted that recent research co-led by professors from the school had discovered the sea lettuce’s potential ability to stem the proliferation of the new coronavirus — although the research itself was primarily focused on a different type of coronavirus.

The announcement, however, quickly fueled the narrative that eating aosa would help counter COVID-19, generating a spike in demand for the seaweed on shopping websites.

When contacted by The Japan Times, Chubu University refused to confirm any details of the original press release.

“The press release’s use of misleading language ended up emphasizing parts that were not based on facts,” the school’s public relations department said in a statement. “We are currently considering rewriting our press release to describe more accurately the conclusions of the research.”

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Status 23.03.2020.



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