Novel coronavrus (148) Debunking COVID-19 misinformation with friends and family (5)

18 March, 2020

Dear Neil,

I would like to point out that in case of an epidemic (more so in case of a pandemic, like COVID90), one of the major task falls upon the epidemiologists to inform people and off course the seniors, what would be suspected agent, what could be route of transmission and what are important risk factors associated with the hosts, that resulted with the spread of disease or infection. This is not an easy task. The epidemiologists start from zero and as usual, with more and more data collection and laboratory sample and/or data collection, they go n refining their hypothesis.But, they are required to communicate with people and their superiors, all the time. This may lead to some sort of confusing statement made at earlier to latter stage.

Another factor is spread of rumor, which spreads faster than the infection and/or disease. What can be done to prevent the spread of the rumor is very difficult to say. If WHO is given the task of prevention of spread of rumor, as a single source of information provider, simply it will not work. We shall not forget that electricity, internet is still to reach many undeserved communities still today.

Increasing general education, along with health education will have become the only path, but that is a long tortuous path with many bends in the way.

Dr.Tusharkanti Dey

HIFA profile: Tusharkanti Dey is a Community Health Specialist at the Center for Total Development in India. Professional interests: Developing community health projects based on ICT.