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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 6, 2020

Don’t fall for this fake news report about coronavirus-infected catfish in Oklahoma

If Your Time is short

  • This Facebook post is a hoax. 

A tiger in the Bronx Zoo in New York is sick with COVID-19, but a supposed news report about catfish carrying coronavirus in Oklahoma is a hoax. 

"After multiple individuals living near Oklahoma waters tested positive for COVID-19, healthcare officials began testing for an aquatic carrier," reads the text of what looks like a screenshot Facebook post from KWTV - NEWS 9. "Upon further investigation it was found that rivers in Oklahoma are full of catfish carrying the virus. Any individuals who contact the fish are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. The highest concentration of infected fish is currently in the North Canadian River and Arkansas River systems."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

The image appeared on Facebook on April 2. That same day, KWTV, an Oklahoma news station, published its own post in response

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"ACTUAL FAKE NEWS," it began. "If your friends share a fake graphic about COVID-19 and ‘catfish’ that looks like it’s from News 9, tell ‘em it’s not from us. It is a fake, 100%."

Searching news coverage online, we found no mention of fish as coronavirus carriers. 

But KWTV offered a lesson in its Facebook post that we can endorse,: "If your instinct tells you a piece of news is fake, your instinct is probably right."

We rate this catfish claim False.


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Don’t fall for this fake news report about coronavirus-infected catfish in Oklahoma

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