People took to Google to learn more about the deadly coronavirus that has been spreading from China but it seems that most are getting the virus confused with the Corona Extra beer.
Searches for both ‘corona beer’ and ‘corona beer virus’ have spiked since the first US cases were confirmed last week.
Over the last week, searches for both terms increased more than 1,100 percent, according to data from Google Trends.
However, it’s likely that the more people have typed ‘corona’, the more Google has auto-completed that search with ‘beer’ or ‘beer virus.’
And to put to rest the question so many have put to Google: No, the deadly virus has nothing to do with a cold brew.
Just five searches for the ‘term ‘corona beer virus’ took place on January 22 compared to at least 100 searches on January 29. It was most commonly searched in Hawaii, California and Washington over the past seven days.
Meanwhile, residents of New Mexico, Nebraska and Kansas were the most likely to search for the term ‘beer virus.’
However, it’s not just Americans that have been confused.
Google Trends data also shows that, in the past week, Singapore, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand were the countries that searched most often for ‘corona beer virus.’
All of these countries, outside of New Zealand, have confirmed cases of coronavirus. The name for the virus comes from the Latin word corōna meaning a crown or a garland.
When the virus is looked at under a microscope, one can see an external structure with tiny crown-like spikes emerging from it.
So far, more than 6,000 people worldwide have been infected with the virus and more than 130 people – all in China – have died.
This is not the first time that a mix-up has occurred with the name of a disease and that of a food/drink.The AIDS-crisis in the mid-1980s led to an association with Ayds, an appetite-suppressant candy, due to the phonetic similarity of their names.
According to the Associated Press, Ayds sales were down 50 percent by 1988.
Despite a change in the name to Diet Ayds, sales never recovered and the candy was eventually discontinued.
The Daily Mail reached out to Corona for comment but there was no immediate response.