Kildare North Fianna Fáil TD, James Lawless, says people need to be reminded that it is a serious offence to cause another person to believe that they have become infected with a disease.
He has described as "idiots" people who are engaged in the "Corona Challenge", including in Kildare.
It involves coughing in people's faces, claiming to have Covid 19, and filming it for social media.
Gardai in Naas are investigating a report of such an incident, in which an older couple were coughed-at on the Sallins Road on Thursday.
The alleged assailant is described as a man in his late twenties or early thirties.
Deputy Lawless says “This really is too serious to be explained away with a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude. People are desperately frightened of these thugs who are laughing and jeering about having COVID-19 while coughing directly into people’s faces – it’s disgusting.
“There are grounds for this in the statue books. Under section six of the non-fatal offences against the person act 1997 it is an offence to spray, pour or put onto a person blood or any fluid or substance resembling blood, leading a person to believe that they have become infected with disease as a result.Section one of the act makes specific reference to contaminated fluid and section two covers the intentional or reckless application of force in liquid form.
“In the midst of this crisis it’s unfortunate that we would even need to remind young people that by carrying out these reprehensible acts they could actually be convicted of a very serious crime. It's time for parents to step up, they need to make sure their children are aware of the consequences of their actions,” he concluded.
File image: James Lawless/Rolling