As the coronavirus or COVID-19 continues to spread regularly many remedies to treat the deadly disease have been spreading on social media. Now, a new study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed that around 5,800 people have been admitted to the hospital because of the false information related to the deadly novel virus on social media. At least 800 people have lost their lives, as per the study.
People lost their lives after drinking methanol or alcohol-based cleaning products, which was wrongly believed to be a cure for the virus, the scientists mentioned. In the month of April, the US President of Donald Trump suggested scientists try disinfectant as a cure for the disease that made the doctors and the manufacturers release statements to stop people from drinking the products.
Hydroxychloroquine and Donald Trump
The president also had claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for the disease. He asked the people to take it in May that raised the eyebrows of the experts who had mentioned that though hydroxychloroquine can be effective its safety is still yet not proven. Overdoses of the drug are not common but the anxiety due to the pandemic had driven people to extreme measures. People also got admitted due to poisoning caused by hydroxychloroquine in Nigeria.
Many people also followed advise resembling proper medical information that they got on social media like eating large amounts of garlic or ingesting huge quantities of vitamins, the authors of the study claim as reported by the CGTN.
Fight Against Misinformation
Online rumors also led to attacks in India and also mass poisoning in Iran. Telecommunications engineers were also threatened and attacked in the UK due to conspiracy theories. The WHO had previously mentioned that the spread of misinformation during the times of the new coronavirus is turning out to be a major risk.
Based on the findings, the scientists asked the international agencies, governments, and social media companies to take responsibility for fighting the crisis. In the modern era, the tacking of the spread of misinformation on social media is turning out to be a very important part of society.
The deadly novel virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 20.6 million people globally as scientists continue to work at war-like speed to find a cure for the deadly disease. An effective vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.