Social media is being flooded with misinformation about coronavirus, and the World Health Organization joined TikTok on Friday in an effort to stop some of it.
Since the outbreak began, people have shared false information through coronavirus-related memes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Some of the online posts claim that vitamin C can “stop” the illness. Another says garlic will help.
Each of which has been debunked. The U.S. has started human testing of a drug to treat the virus, but so far there isn’t a cure, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“We are joining @tiktok to provide you with reliable and timely public health advice! Our first post: How to protect yourself from #coronavirus,” the public safety organization wrote in its first post on the platform.
In the video, Benedetta Allegranzi, the organization’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, explained how people can slow down the spread of coronavirus. She also directs viewers to the organization’s website for more resources and information.
Allegranzi tells viewers to wash their hands, cough and sneeze into their elbows and avoid close contact with sick people. WHO previously announced social media efforts to combat what it calls an “infodemic” or “an over-abundance of information … that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”
The organization uploaded a second video over the weekend explaining how to properly wear a respiratory mask. The agency doesn’t advise most people to go out and buy them.
“If you don’t have respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, or runny nose, you don’t need to wear a medical mask,” WHO notes in the video.
It’s been widely reported that medical masks are in short supply as coronavirus spreads across the globe.
Coronavirus has killed nearly 3,000 people across the world, mostly in China. There has been just one reported death in the United States, which had less than 80 confirmed cases as of Sunday night, but experts predict a “boom” is on the way.