Fact check: Does a Ugandan man’s fart kill mosquitoes?
As the world continues to look for new ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria that is responsible for an estimated 1-3 million deaths per year, a report surfaced earlier this week that a Ugandan man’s fart is so potent that it can kill mosquitoes and more so mosquitoes with a fallout zone of six miles.
According to the news report, some insect repellant companies signed up Joe Rwamirama from Kampala, Uganda whose flatulence was deemed lethal to mosquitoes.
The report also claimed that the 48-year-old man had been blessed with this gift since he was a child. According to The Sun UK, a local chief who was interviewed claimed that he took Rwamirama in to live with him during the malaria season and claimed no one nearby caught the disease [during Rwamirama’s stay].
The Sun also quoted a local barber identified as “James Yoweri” and an unnamed local chief.
Rwamirama was also reported to have said that he eats ordinary food like everyone else but no insect can dare lay a foot on him, not even a fly.
A similar report has been published by Nigerian blogs such as Newsbreak and Talk of NAIJA, and other foreign mainstream websites in the U.K., Europe, India and New Zealand including U.K’s Daily Mirror, BBC Somali.
But is this true?
Checks by The Guardian Nigeria shows that the report was first published by IhLayaNews.com, a news parody and satire website.
The picture used to illustrate the story was first published by Reuters news agency in July 2019 and it was taken by the photojournalist Olivia Acland in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The photograph’s original caption read: “A health worker checks the temperature of a man as part of the ebola screening upon entering the General Hospital in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 15, 2019.”
This is not the first time a news report from ihlayanews.com would go viral and be picked up by mainstream media, the parody site was also responsible for the report of a Nigerian that purportedly hacked the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to grant himself, his friends and family American citizenship. The story has been fact-checked by The Guardian Nigeria.
The disclaimer on Ihlayanews’ facebook page states that “We do all we can to make sure the articles are complete fiction… If you feel offended in any way by our articles and you want to fight, please send us a place and time.”