Back to Africa Check

Man whose farts kill mosquitos? No, patient being tested for Ebola

“Man whose farts can kill mosquitoes paid millions by mosquito repellent company,” claims a story doing the rounds on Facebook in December 2019. It’s been shared as a screenshot, and with links to the same article posted on blogs in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda.

It shows a close-up of a man with a device being held next to his head.

The article claims the man is “Joe Rwamirama from Kampala, Uganda” whose farts are being studied by “two big mosquito repellent companies”.

Rwamirama, it says, is earning lots of cash from the study of his farts, which kill all mosquito-sized flying insects within a 6 metre radius.

Is this bizarre story true? We checked.

Ebola testing in DRC


A Google reverse image search reveals that the photo was first published in a July 2019 article on Sky News titled: “Ebola warning after ‘game changing’ case recorded in Congolese city of Goma.”

“A man is checked for Ebola in Goma,” the caption reads. The device in the photo is a non-contact infrared thermometer.

The article reports on authorities in Goma trying to trace a 46-year-old pastor who was found to have Ebola before and during the bus journey to the city.

Africa Check could find no credible reports from reputable news sources on “Joe Rwamirama from Kampala, Uganda”, whose farts kill mosquitos.

The story is totally made up. The man in the photo is from the DRC, and was being tested for Ebola. – Grace Gichuhi

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters