The World Health Organisation (WHO) has tasked communication and social media teams with fighting misinformation about the new coronavirus, including the rumour that smoke from fireworks can kill the pathogen.
“The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not,” the Geneva-based UN health agency said in a daily update on Sunday.
Using the official acronym for the virus, the WHO said that the flood of information has made it hard for people to distinguish myths from facts.
The health body’s teams are working around the clock to identify the most common rumours that could pose public health risks, such as false prevention measures or cures.
“Can the smoke and gas from fireworks and firecrackers prevent 2019-nCoV?” is one of the question that the WHO debunks on Facebook.
The simple answer: No. All you’re going to do is irritate your eyes, throats and lungs, and possibly get burned in the process.
Here are some of the rumours the WHO has addressed so far.