Fact Check-COVID-19 is a contagious disease and is not caused by radiation poisoning

Social media users have been sharing posts online that claim COVID-19 is not a contagious disease and may instead be caused by radiation poisoning. This claim is false; COVID-19 has been found to be contagious and it is not caused by radiation poisoning.

An example can be seen here . The post reads: “Pay attention. Every model right now points to Covid-19 not being a contagious disease EXCEPT the model of Pharma, big-tech, and the ruling class. I know, I know, I’m a bat-shit crazy conspiracy theorist. I heard it all weekend. Fine, whatever. Just for fun then, check out the symptoms of radiation pneumonitis.”

The post then explains that COVID-19 may stem from radiation poisoning and that masks, lockdowns and injections are ineffective against the virus.


COVID-19 is spread very easily mainly by close contact between people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says (here). The CDC says the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, is spread more efficiently than the influenza virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains on its website here that evidence points to the virus spreading mainly by respiratory droplets between people in close contact. The virus can also be contracted by touching an infected surface and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Spanish newspaper El Pais published a visualisation on how the virus can spread in a room, a bar and a classroom with and without masks and ventilation, here .

A Forbes article here shows a visualisation created by a Japanese supercomputer showing the spread in a restaurant. The visual can be seen here .

Harvard Health explains on its website here that the an infected person could be contagious 48 hours before beginning to experience symptoms and those without symptoms can also spread the virus to others.


Reuters Fact Check previously debunked the claim that COVID-19 is caused by radiation poisoning, here . The symptoms of illnesses like radiation pneumonitis and COVID-19 are similar, but they are entirely different things.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has also addressed claims that radiation from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is the cause of disease rather than the coronavirus – specifically in relation to 5G networks. It has said these claims are neither “feasible” nor “supported by any evidence (not even extremely weak evidence)” (here).


Reuters Fact Check also debunked the claim that face masks and lockdowns do not slow the spread of the virus here . There is evidence that shows both face masks and social distancing work well in combination with other prevention methods such as frequent hand washing to slow the spread of the virus.

The three COVID-19 vaccines that have emergency authorization for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson (here).

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine was around 95% effective at preventing disease symptoms in its late-stage trial, while Moderna’s vaccine was around 94% effective (here). In J&J’s 44,000-person global trial, the vaccine was found to be 66% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19 four weeks after inoculation. It was 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death due to the virus (here).

The World Health Organization estimates “herd immunity” — the share of the population that needs to be immune in order to break the chain of transmission — to be around 60% to 70%. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease specialist in the United States, said he thinks the threshold is 75% or higher (here ).

A Reuters simulation showing the relationship between how many doses of the vaccine is administered and herd immunity can be found here .


False. COVID-19 is a contagious disease and is not caused by radiation poisoning.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here .