Coronavirus (884) Definition of infodemic (4)

6 August, 2020

Below are some of the definitions that I found for 'disease', in which case infodemic cannot qualify to be called a 'disease'. Perhaps it could be deemed an abnormality of the knowledge system but not a 'disease' as it is neither a plant or an animal, nor human. What do members think? :

"a disorder ofstructure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one thatproduces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and isnot simply a direct result of physical injury:"bacterial meningitis is arare disease"

"Disease definition, a disordered orincorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resultingfrom the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons,nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmentalfactors; illness; sickness; ailment.’’

"a conditionof a person, animal, or plantin which its body or structure is harmed because an organ or part is unable towork as it usually does; an illness: [ C ] Mumps is an infectious disease. [ U ] He suffers fromheart disease. [ U ] Hundreds of thousands of trees died from Dutch elm disease."

Joseph Ana.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation: 12-PillarClinical Governance

National Standards and Quality Monitor andAssessor

National ImplementingOrganisation: PACK Nigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher:Medical and Health Journals; Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria:  8 Amaku Street, StateHousing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

Website:     email: ;

On Thursday, 6 August 2020, 17:52:16 BST, Chris Zielinski, UK <> wrote:

Some further thoughts.

How about this for a definition:

An infodemic is a a disease of the knowledge system characterised by: 1) a catastrophic increase in the volume of true and false information about a single core topic; 2) the episodic flow of rumour/mis/disinformation related to all aspects of the topic; 3) a struggle to establish a balance between a scientific interpretation of the facts and politically, ideologically and commercially inspired narratives; and 4) the hyperactivity of technological methods used to conduct and disseminate the discourse.

And then Neil suggests that there are three kinds of information:

1. accurate (and useful to the user)

2. accurate (and not useful to the user)

3. inaccurate

Unfortunately, you can split the thrid one as well:

3. inaccurate (and useful to the user)

4. inaccurate (and not useful to the user)

"The user" in this case is the person who posts the inaccurate information and those who receive it. So 3 is deliberate mis/disinformation, while 4 is a simple error.

Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia.  chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and


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