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The rumors related to coronavirus may have killed hundreds of people: research



According to a recent study, rumors, myths and conspiracy theories circulating online amid a pandemic of coronavirus could kill hundreds of people.

Rumors of “cures” include taking bleach, eating garlic, moisturizing the throat, avoiding spicy foods, taking some vitamins and drinking cow urine, according to research published on Monday. in the American Journal of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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With the world’s attention focused on new, emerging viruses and a global pandemic, a “pandemic” or “redundant information” can make it difficult to find, the study authors say. get reliable information.

“Disinformation fueled by rumors, discrimination, and conspiracy theories can have a serious impact on individuals and communities if given priority over evidence-based guidelines,”

; the study authors write. .

The study extracted information from a variety of online platforms, including social media and TV websites, from December 31, 2019 to April 5, 2020. From content analysis Researchers found 2,311 reports of rumor, stigma and conspiracy theories in 25 languages ​​from 87 countries. Of the 2,276 reports with text rating, 1,856 were declared false (82%).

According to a recent study, rumors, myths and conspiracy theories circulating online amid a pandemic of coronavirus could kill hundreds of people.  (iStock)

According to a recent study, rumors, myths and conspiracy theories circulating online amid a pandemic of coronavirus could kill hundreds of people. (iStock)

The researchers looked at and organized the data into three categories: rumor, stigma, and conspiracy theories. According to research, rumors are the most common, mostly related to disease, transmission and death from COVID-19.

One common myth recommends that a person hold their breath for more than 10 seconds to self-diagnose an infection. Another said drinking high concentrations of alcohol can disinfect the body and destroy the virus.

According to the researchers, after this misinformation, about 800 people died, 5,876 people were hospitalized and 60 became completely blind after taking methanol as a “cure” for the virus.

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The researchers said reports of stigma included Asians to be blamed for the virus, while conspiracy theories classify COVID-19 as a biological weapon designed by international agencies. next.

“To troubleshoot misinformation, health authorities must track the COVID-19-related misinformation in real time and engage local communities,” the study authors said. and government stakeholders ”.

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