Coronavirus (902) Definition of infodemic (7)

14 August, 2020

Neil writes, "In April President Trump suggested that injection of disinfectant might be a good idea. Fortunately, not a single person (to my knowledge) acted on this." This is, alas, misinformation.

The BBC report I cited (which Neil quotes in his reply) stated that "at least 800 people died around the world because of coronavirus-related misinformation in the first three months of this year" ( The article explains further, "Many died from drinking methanol or alcohol-based cleaning products. They wrongly believed the products to be a cure for the virus." The full text of the paper they cite is available (open access) in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (;jsessionid=...).

There just isn't enough time to read all the accurate information pouring out in an infodemic, is there?


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