Coronavirus (819) BBC: Fake cures in Latin America’s deadly outbreak

12 July, 2020

Extracts from a BBC news article. Full text here:


In the week when Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19, we've debunked some of these misleading claims.

A video of Mr Bolsonaro taking the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for his illness has clocked up six million views on Facebook.

We've previously looked into the controversy surrounding the drug and the lack of evidence for its effectiveness in the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

While admitting that the drug had not been scientifically proven, Mr Bolsonaro said "with all certainty" that it was working for him, and that he was feeling better...

Chlorine dioxide is a bleaching agent found in a substance claiming to cure a range of illnesses often advertised as "miracle mineral supplement", or MMS. ' There is no evidence it works and health authorities say it's potentially harmful.

You don't have to look very hard to find it being promoted on social media. We found Facebook groups created in the last two or three months in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Argentina, with thousands of followers promoting or even claiming to sell MMS...

It is an ongoing source of concern for public health authorities in Latin American that bad advice is being given to the public to self-medicate with unproven treatments in both traditional and social media.


Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: