BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been hard for Jefferson County and Alabama health officials in fighting COVID-19, but now they are having to take on misinformation in social media.
Health leaders said misinformation is putting people’s lives at risk.
It has not been easy to get the word out about what people need to do in order to protect themselves and their family, but misinformation is so bad that the Alabama and Jefferson County health departments had to address the issue.
If you went to the Alabama Pubic Health Department’s Facebook page you will see a big reference to some of the misinformation out there in social media.
One major problem in Jefferson County concerns the way people are counted.
“I think there has been a misconception if there is a positive case in family, said Dr. Wesley Willeford, Jefferson County Department of Health. Let’s say a family of four turns that into four cases and that is just not the case.”
Other examples of misinformation are concerns for hospitals running out of beds and how masks are not effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“There is good data coming in to show that masks do positively impact the spread of COVID-19. Meaning they do slow down the spread of COVID-19. It’s the best tool we have now,” Willeford continued.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris was also alarmed at the amount of misinformation people are putting out on social media.
“Misinformation on social media is part for the course. It’s just what some people enjoy doing. We do our best when we identify that to put the facts out there,” Harris said.
The health experts say putting the right information out is the only thing they can do to fight those who may mislead others.
“Whether at the Jefferson County level or the state level we want to honest and earnest with everyone in our county,” Willeford said.
Both health experts advise to check out anything you might see on social media with a trusted source before believing or spreading information about the coronavirus.