Misinformation vs disinformation, what’s the difference? This infographic briefly defines the difference between misinformation and disinformation. Both misinformation and disinformation refers to information that is not factually correct, however, misinformation may be spread due to poor understanding of the subject, or just by mistake. Disinformation is when incorrect information is spread on purpose.
Is factually incorrect information – regardless of intent. It may be a mistake, or a misinterpretation of data.
Is the deliberate spreading of false information. Someone who spreads disinformation is doing so knowingly.
So.You’ve seen something you think ismisinformation.What do you do?
Here is The Science Social Misinformation Toolkit.
Not sure? Don’t share!
Not sure, don’t share is our mantra.
If you have second thoughts about something you’re reading online, do not continue to share it.
The wrong advice or information can do more harm than good. Sharing because you think it could be useful knowledge without actually checking could result in someone taking potentially harmful action.
Although it is an extreme example, there were reports only weeks ago that ‘drinking bleach could rid you of coronavirus’. Whilst many of us may consider it common sense not to follow this advice, we should be mindful not to share it.
Fake news or misinformation is often propagated because it looks legitimate. Don’t be fooled by a credible name drop!
Often this could be:
“a friend of mine who works at the hospital received this email…” or “this is an NHS letter…”.
If the information is legitimate, it will be easily accessible via the online resources of the named institution, be that NHS, PHE, Gov.uk or University websites.
Check for yourself before taking further action.
There is nothing wrong with questioning the source.
This is what science is all about!
It is good practice in scientific research to ask what the evidence is where it came from and who produced it before drawing any conclusions.
Once you’ve spotted misinformation you can start asking these questions yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Most people will engage with you if approached in a diplomatic and considerate way.
It is important to always be respectful of another persons views, even if you don’t agree!
It’s all about you
Even if you can’t find out more information about a source or identify it’s credibility, your questioning alone is the first step towards stopping the spread and uptake of misinformation.
If you’re not sure, don’t share.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to follow Public Health guidelines and stay up to date with any amendments to the existing advice.
Here is our quick overview to the different types of face masks available.
N95/N100 and FFP2/FFP3 Masks
N95/N100 designations are used in the USA and are roughly equivalent to FFP2/FFP3 in the EU.
FFP3/N100 masks are the highest rated masks available, and protect the wearer from aerosols and droplets at concentrations up to 50X occupational exposure limits (set by health organisations).
These are needed and used by medical professionals in direct, frequent contact with patients known to have an infectious respiratory disease.
Surgical masks protect the wearer in a similar way to N95/FFP2 masks, however they are less effective than these.
They will protect the wearer from respiratory droplets which may approach the face, however are fitted less firmly to the face and filter less effectively than an N95.
These are being used by medical professionals as a precaution when treating any patient, in case they may also be an asymptomatic carrier in addition to their presenting medical complaint.
Home-made masks are not regulated or confirmed to protect to any given standard.
However, if the majority of people wear a mask of some form, evidence shows a reduction in disease spread.
This is particularly important for people who may have asymptomatic infections and not know that they are spreading the virus while out of the house.
Any time you are outside the house in an enclosed or crowded space you should wear a face covering if you can – this includes supermarkets and public transport.
Why did the advice change suddenly?
Remember we are forever learning: advice and guidance will evolve as we learn new things.
Previously, home-made masks were not advised, as they are less protective than medical masks and individually do not provide full protection to the wearer.
However, new research is now showing that the limited protection given through reducing droplet spread from the wearer is worth it. In addition, the net gain of everyone wearing one is much greater than just the actions of one single person.
So things are opening up again this weekend (4th of July 2020) in the UK. The lockdown eases.
It is everyones individual choice where they wish to go now and what they want to do – if you are looking for ways to reduce risk while going out and seeing friends, here are some science-based suggestions:
Effective hand washing is still extremely important! Make sure you’re washing frequently and efficiently!
Masks are still growing in evidence for their effect in slowing disease transmission. When you’re in close contact with people outside of your household, consider wearing one as often as you can!
Check out yesterday’s post for how to put on and wear your mask safely!
💫 BREAKING NEWS 💫 💊 Dexamethasone is the first drug found to reduce mortality in severely ill COVID-19 patients following a clinical trial. ⚡️ NOTE: the data discussed in this post has not yet been peer reviewed and deemed suitable for publication. Whilst the data appears to be good news, it should be read with this in mind! See our previous posts for more information on the peer review process ⚡️ ⏩ Swipe through for our breakdown on the RECOVERY trial and most importantly, the data 📊 ‼️ It is important to note that dexamethasone should only be taken when prescribed by a medical professional and as most drugs, does have some side-effects. Dexamethasone only offers benefit to patients that require ventilation or oxygen therapy, there is no evidence to suggest it can be used to prevent COVID-19.
There are a lot of reports going around about aspects of COVID-19 where we have “not enough evidence to show” something yet 🤔
It’s important to remember that this means WE DON’T KNOW 🙅♀️ either way in this situation.
The answer might be that a treatment, for example, is wrong – or it might be proven to be right. But we can’t say for sure until we’ve gathered evidence that points in one direction or the other. 📃
As scientists, we are keen to admit when we don’t know something, because it gives us opportunity to learn! 💡
We like gathering evidence and we like knowing that the answers we give are the most accurate they can be! ✅
❗Importantly, this includes having ALL the evidence we can do before announcing things. Partial evidence being published can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding of what’s happening and can lead us down the wrong track for progressing our field.
Post originally on instagram 1.05.20, updated 9.07.20
Let’s talk about gloves and how to use them correctly.
Wearing PPE is a way to prevent the spread of diseases, but only if used correctly. Gloves aren’t necessarily advised throughout the pandemic – unless you work in certain professions – but we have had many questions about gloves. So we have done our best to give an overview on how to wear gloves correctly, if you chose to wear them.
We have discussed the risk of wearing masks incorrectly and how this can put you at more risk, tonight we focus on the correct usage of gloves. 🧤
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, before AND after using gloves
If you are wearing gloves to protect yourself, the material of these gloves are very important.
Gloves should be changed frequently to reduce risk of spreading diseases
When removing your gloves, do it so your hands do not come into direct contact with the outside of the gloves.
Improper use of gloves increases the risk to you and those around you.
Good hand hygeine practice is a more favourable preventative measure.
PPE is in high demand in healthcare settings, social distancing and hygiene should always be adhered too.
It’s question and answer time again! Here are some more of the questions we’ve been sent recently – if you have questions you want answered, message us or tag us in a post and we’ll add you to our next post!
ℂ𝕒𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕡𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕧𝕚𝕣𝕦𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨𝕚𝕟𝕘? 🦠 Yes, you can – stay home whenever you are able!
𝕎𝕙𝕪 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕚𝕟𝕗𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟/𝕕𝕖𝕒𝕥𝕙 𝕣𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕤 𝕤𝕠 𝕕𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕓𝕖𝕥𝕨𝕖𝕖𝕟 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕟𝕥𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤? 📊 Tons of factors come into this, including population demographics, data reporting style and testing methods – it’s not necessarily anything to do with how patients are being treated.
𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕥𝕪𝕡𝕖 𝕠𝕗 𝕤𝕠𝕒𝕡 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕤𝕙 𝕞𝕪 𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕕𝕤 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙? 🧼 Any soap you can get! COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria, so antibacterial soap isn’t needed to get rid of it.
𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕕𝕦𝕔𝕥𝕤 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕝𝕒𝕣𝕘𝕖 𝕗𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕓𝕣𝕒𝕟𝕕𝕤 𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕦𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕪 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖? 👕 It depends a bit on what hospitals are willing to accept, but scrubs are simpler than masks – so they’re a good place to start if a manufacturer isn’t qualified to make complex medical equipment.
𝔻𝕠𝕖𝕤 𝕌𝕍 𝕝𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕜𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕧𝕚𝕣𝕦𝕤𝕖𝕤? 🌞 Yes – but the type of UV light used to kill microbes in a lab is also VERY harmful to humans. It’s absolutely not something people should be trying to replicate at home.