An ‘infodemic’ is an overabundance of information—some accurate and some not—
that occurs during an epidemic. It spreads between humans in a similar manner to an
epidemic, via digital and physical information systems. It makes it hard for people to
find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. During epidemics,
more so than in normal time, people need accurate information to adapt their
behaviour to protect themselves and their families and communities against infection.
The infodemic is propagated by the fundamentally interconnected way in information
is disseminated and consumed through social media platforms and other channels,
and, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is exacerbated by the global scale
of the emergency. Infodemics can impact citizens in every country, and addressing
them is a new and centrally important challenge in responding to disease outbreaks.
At the same time, though, the current, COVID-19 infodemic is an opportunity to find
and adapt new preparedness and response tools.

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