Google searches for "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus" have risen globally since January 18.
- People seem to be confusing Corona Extra beer with the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
- Online searches for "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus" have risen around the world since January 18.
- But Corona, the beer company, told Business Insider it trusted customers not to link the virus to its drinks.
- "We believe, by and large, that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and our business," Maggie Bowman, a representative for Corona's producer Constellation Brands, told Business Insider.
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Corona Extra says it trusts customers not to link its beer to the deadly Wuhan coronavirus in China, as search-trend data suggests some people are doing just that.
Online searches for "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus" have risen around the world since January 18, apparently associating the drink and the virus in confusion.
But Corona, the beer company, doesn't seem to be concerned.
"We believe, by and large, that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and our business," Maggie Bowman, the senior communications director at Constellation Brands, Corona's producer, told Business Insider on Wednesday.
From January 18 to January 26, searches for "corona beer virus" jumped 2,300% globally, according to Google Trends.
Searches for "beer virus" jumped 744% in the same period, and searches for "beer coronavirus" jumped 3,233%.
There is no link between the beer and the virus.
While the numbers are striking, it is important to note that Google's search engine is programmed to automatically suggest searches based on popular terms. The boom in searches for corona beer and the virus could therefore be self-reinforcing.
"Corona" in Latin means crown, and the word is the same in Spanish. Corona beer originated in Mexico.
In English, the anatomical term "corona" is used for body parts resembling a crown. Hence, the name "coronavirus" comes from the fact that under a microscope the virus has crown-like spikes protruding from it, as previously reported by Business Insider's Holly Secon.
As of Thursday, at least 170 people had been killed and more than 6,000 infected by the coronavirus that broke out in Wuhan, a major city in central China, in early December.
Wuhan and several other Chinese cities have been quarantined in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading.
At least 17 countries, including the US, have reported cases of the coronavirus.