COVID -19- Infodemic overtaking Pandemic? Time to disseminate facts over fear
Keywords:COVID -19, Infodemic, Pandemic
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a humanitarian emergency. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Governments are making their best efforts to prevent the spread of disease. But a global epidemic of misinformation which is rapidly spreading through social media platforms and other outlets is posing serious problem to the public health interventions. This rapid spread of all sorts of information pertaining to the epidemic which makes its solution difficult is termed as infodemic. Infodemic creates fear, confusion and stigmatization among people and makes them more vulnerable to practice the measures which are not evidence based and scientifically sound. Hence there is an urgent need to identify the source of misinformation and prevent them from further spreading. WHO and the government of India have taken several steps in controlling this problem but there is a need for active involvement of social media companies, professional bodies, health care providers and general public in identification of misinformation and combating its spread.
Wang C, Horby PW, Hayden FG, Gao GF. A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. Lancet 2020;395:470 3.
Ryu S, Chun BC; Korean Society of Epidemiology 2019 nCoV Task Force Team. An interim review of the epidemiological characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus. Epidemiol Health 2020;42:e2020006.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report. No 51. March 11, 2020. URL available from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200311-sitrep-51-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=1ba62e57_4 downloaded on 14.03.2020, 20.00 IST.
World Health Organization India. Novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Update Report. No 1. January 31, 2020. URL available from World Health Organization India. URL available from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/wrindia/india-situation-report-1.pdf?sfvrsn=5ca2a672_0 downloaded on 15.03.2020, 13.00 IST
Hua J, Shaw R. Infodemic and Risk Communication in the Era of CoV 19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020;17:2309-10
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report. No 13. February 2, 2020. URL available from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200202-sitrep-13-ncov-v3.pdf?sfvrsn=195f4010_6 downloaded on 28.03.2020, 20.00 IST.
Vaezi A, Javanmard SH. Infodemic and risk communication in the era of CoV 19. Adv Biomed Res 2020;9:10.
Zarocostas J. How to fight an infodemic. www.thelancet.com 2020; 395: 676.
Diwanji S. Social media usage in India - Statistics & Facts. 2020 URL available from https://www.statista.com/topics/5113/social-media-usage-in-india/ downloaded on 04.04.2020 at 7.30 PM IST.
drsanjivkumar.wordpress.com. Prevent ‘infodemic’ from turning public into covidiots. URL available from https://drsanjivkumar.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/prevent-infodemic-from-turning-public-into-vovidiots/. Downloaded on 07.04.2020 at 10.20 PM IST
Brainard J, Hunter PR. Misinformation making a disease outbreak worse: Outcomes compared for influenza, monkeypox, and norovirus. Simulation 2019:0037549719885021.
World Health Organization. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19). 9 March 2020. URL available from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses downloaded on 15th April 2020, 16.00 IST
Government of Karnataka. Notification No:HFW 54 CGM 2020 dated 11.03.2020 available from https://karunadu.karnataka.gov.in/hfw/kannada/nCovDocs/Exercise-of-Powers-COVID-10(11-03-2020).pdf. Downloaded on 02.04.2020 at 8.30 Pm
Science. thewire.in. The Misinformation Pandemic Is Scarier Than the COVID-19 Pandemic.URL available from https://science.thewire.in/health/the-misinformation-pandemic-is-scarier-than-the-covid-19-pandemic/ downloaded on 04.04.2020.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Indian Journal of Community Health
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.