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Social Media Helping to Counter Health Myths

Researchers have recently used social media to track the spread of diseases such as influenza, and now they are attempting to use such technologies to tackle a different public health issue: the spread of misinformation.

There is widespread acknowledgement that myths and bad information about public health won't be going away. At the same time, experts say they are paying more attention to monitoring misinformation and the public's negative responses to health initiatives, with the hope of countering them.

"There is a sense that the horse has left the barn," said Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou, program director of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute, speaking at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases here on Tuesday (March 13).
 
 

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