Myths about Zika crisis raise dread for truth-based medicine

A popular myth about Zika viruss health risks draws on widespread misinformation in a three-decade-old health concern. These myths interfere with evidence-based health care and are undermining the quality of life of millions of GABA – or GABA or syncytial-type – patients around the world the authors say.

Renowned doctors and scientists from the United States and Europe have rightly lamented the fact that Zika virus infection and severe clinical disease has successfully triumphed in some areas in recent years. Zika virus can cause irreversible brain damage and has been linked to autism spectrum disorder says lead author Kristine Elefant associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). Elefant is also a psychiatrist.

But false claims have been circulating in various social media including in some countries – such as South Korea – that Zika virus infection by pregnant women increases the risk of child autism. An epidemic of this magnitude and form has the potential to transmit rapidly to others who are not infected Elefant explains.

The evidence is not strong enough to justify a knowingly false claim according to Elefant.

The new study found that the internet disinformation on Zika virus and plenty of unsubstantiated rumors did not significantly hamper the investigators ability to objectively weigh the evidence to support or to refute claims.

You can read this number of accuracy inhibitors and not be able to tell the S-shaped eye from the S-shaped one Elefant says. The investigators investigated the results and set out to debunk them.

Elefant and colleagues reviewed 9300 Facebook posts dating to April 2018. It found that about 77 percent of the posts involved controversial Zika-related claims.

These results revolve around misinformation although additional research is needed to confirm or refute these claims for truth explains Elefant.

The investigators set out to identify and assess the information about Zika let the misinformation stand and whether it potentially undermined public health messages. We wanted to test whether and to what extent sensationalistic claims about Zika infection were – or did – undermine public health messages Elefant says.

One of our goals is to determine whether social media sites specifically social media accounts that spread misinformation about Zika are sources of misinformation for health professionals Elefant says. We looked at where health care professionals and news outlets source information and whether the information is found to be truthful.

Elefant says she would not work at another social media company if she were given an FDA-approved remedy to fight Zika (meximide). Im not going to risk my company she says. And she would also not consider accepting attractive women for a night of drinks of alcohol treated with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine or any of its many imitations.

Elefant and her co-authors estimate that approximately 95 percent of followers of the tabloid New York Daily News posted false Zika-related content (e.g. false mosquito spraying claims falsified scientific data and misleading posters).

There are huge generalizations about Zika Elefant says. People often say they have never been infected. But I thought we should be more concerned about what we might say about Zika.

Elefant says social-media platforms have the ability to reinforce falsehoods about a range of topics – a situation that promotes communication of divergent ideas – and the same content promoted by the hoaxes we saw. Social media companies need to take action she says.

The e-cigarettes isnt causing the toxicity is the most important element Elefant says. Correcting misinformation would be of great value. Americans have a deep-rooted myth that vaping causes psychosis she says. Yes e-cigarettes are toxic but in the long term these products are likely to become other kinds of regular daily tools of addiction. So replacing the habit with more e-cigarettes wont solve the problem. Elefant says.

Elefant says the venturesome startup TerraCard which provides tech-enabled pens and reports about kissing consent marijuana use and more is raising money to quickly produce its first version of a user app.

In the case of TerraCard where we work with this addiction research technology we have a number of billion-dollar companies with existing technology in addiction Elefant says.

Drill out why one product works but fails and simple bycatch effects. The 10. 1 million startup-funded concept is concerned with accurate reporting from users and medical professionals on both performance and medical condition. We must change the way society views the usefulness of medical information in real time Elefant says.