'Spanish Fly' started trending on Twitter after Health Minister Dr Adham Baba misidentified the Spanish flu during a speech
The footage of Adham Baba's speech at Universiti Putra Malaysia has been making its rounds on social media over the past couple of days.
In the clip, the Health Minister can be heard saying that in 1916, or 1919, the Spanish "fly" had killed about a million people around the world and it happened for two years.
He then corrected himself and calls it the Spanish epidemic, thus implying that he was referring to the Spanish flu.
The term 'Spanish fly' is actually commonly used as a reference to a sex stimulant or aphrodisiac formulation, but it may also refer to an emerald-green insect that is part of the beetle family
According to Get Roman, the Spanish fly is a common name for an insect that is purported to have sexually stimulating properties, which can likely be attributed to a toxic substance it contains called cantharidin.
Meanwhile, the Spanish flu, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is considered the most severe pandemic in recent history and the virus had infected about 500 million people or one-third of the world's population.
In contrary to Adham Baba's statement, the CDC also noted that the Spanish flu killed at least 50 million people worldwide, not less than the 2.8 million COVID-19 global death rate as the Health Minister had claimed.
Netizens and public figures have since poked fun at Adham Baba's slip of the tongue
Member of Parliament (MP) for Bakri and former science, technology, and innovation minister Yeo Bee Yin tweeted, "Secret: I didn't know what was #SpanishFLY until just now."
Meanwhile, former education minister Maszlee Malik joked that 'Spanish Fly' is the name of a wrestling move. He wrote, "This is a 'Spanish fly' dangerous move. Mustafa Ali's the best!"
Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming asked, "Is #SpanishFly trending in Malaysia yet?"
Previously, Adham Baba made headlines for suggesting that drinking warm water would prevent COVID-19 infection: