Mucormycosis

Use of alum powder and turmeric powder, mustard oil can’t prevent Mucormycosis

Two YouTube videos with thousands of views claiming use of alum powder, turmeric powder, rock salt can prevent the growth of mucormycosis are misleading and the claims in the videos are false. There is no scientific research to suggest that herbal remedies prevent or treat mucormycosis.

Pushpita Dey

What may cause mucormycosis, experts explain

A WhatsApp message claiming that humidity caused due to use of masks causes Mucormycosis (black fungus) is misleading. Experts highlight that people with poorly managed diabetes and a weak immune system are at a high risk of mucormycosis.

Misinformation

WhatsApp forward claiming ‘Vaccinated People Will Die in 2 Years’ is untrue

A widely-circulated message attributed to French virologist Luc Montagnier claims that all vaccinated people will die in 2 years due to antibody-dependent enhancement. Dr. Rohini Karandikar, a science writer at the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) and member of the Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 team, lays bare the facts.

Remdesivir injections

Real vs fake Remdesivir injections: Know the difference

An injection named Covipri is circulating on social media, with many referring to it as the Remdesivir injection. Here’s all you need to know how to differentiate between real and fake Remdesivir injections

Covid-19 pandemic

Starting a steam inhalation drive will not end the pandemic

As India is witnessing a surge in cases, preventions and cures for Covid-19 are getting wide popularity on social media. We at First Check have received a WhatsApp message from multiple sources within a span of 4-5 days promoting and convincing people to start a steam inhalation initiative. It also urges people to forward the message twice or thrice daily.

Videos promoting COVID-19 conspiracies are re-emerging despite a crackdown

A year after the pandemic, the conspiracy theory that coronavirus is a hoax and that Bill Gates and Dr Fauci are behind it is again gaining popularity. Animated videos and adapted cartoon characters from cartoon series are being used this time. However, there is no evidence to support the claim.

COVID-19 vaccination: Beware of bogus dos & don’ts

While proper nutrition and hydration are essential for good health, there’s no evidence to support claims made by a WhatsApp forward to reduce the side effects of vaccines. 

Are DIY disinfectants safe?

Youtube is awash with how to disinfect surfaces and many people have resorted to trying to make their own disinfectants by watching viral do-it-yourself (DIY) videos and YouTube tutorials. But mixing chemicals in the wrong proportion can at best create an ineffective product – and at worst result in poisoning. 

Pfizer vaccine

Misleading WhatsApp message questions Pfizer vaccine efficacy

A recent WhatsApp message presented a series of arguments discrediting the claimed 95% efficacy of Pfizer vaccine. The message is partly correct, but it is misleading people by claiming that the clinical trial was conducted on a selected group of participants aimed for optimal results.

HIV

This tonic of leaves cannot cure HIV

There is no scientific evidence to prove that a health drink made of Indian date leaves, sacred fig leaves, and Cynodon leaves can cure HIV

Three-pronged approach to fight the infodemic

Misinformation and rumours are three times more likely to be spread on social media as compared to accurate information. We need to adopt evidence-informed measures from a transdisciplinary perspective to win the battle against this parallel pandemic.

Covid-19

No, incense sticks do not ward off Covid-19

A popular YouTube channel claims that smouldering incense sticks can ward off coronavirus and that there is no need to get vaccinated for coronavirus as the positive energy from incense sticks can cure Covid-19. The claim is false and has no scientific evidence.

Can COVID-19 hygiene measures cause cancer?

Here is what Google Trends say on what was most searched when Covid-19 was at its peak in 2020 By Nabeela Khan The pandemic brought along with it a few health protocols – recommended by the WHO and the CDC, as also various governments. Wearing a mask, washing hands regularly with soap, use of infrared […]

Covid vaccine scams hit Asia

Fraudsters in Asia are sending out fake texts, offering a Covid vaccine or registration for the vaccine in an attempt to steal personal and financial information. By Nabeela Khan At a time, when vaccines are being rolled out all around the world, people are eager to receive vaccines. But the process of vaccinating millions of […]

Coronavirus

Can red ant chutney cure Coronavirus?

Multiple Facebook posts claim that red ant chutney (sauce) is the divine medicine for coronavirus. We fact-checked the claim and found the origin of this statement. There is no scientific evidence yet to prove it as a possible cure.

COVID-19

No, six-minute walk is not a test for COVID-19

The recent misinformation trending on social media is the six-minute walk test which is performed by doctors on Covid patients to further evaluate the condition of heart and lungs.

Fact-checking medical misinformation

Top fact-checkers from Asia share personal stories, deep insights, and practical tips to tackle the avalanche of health fake news at the Misinformation in Medicine Summit 2020. 

No, ‘virus shutout necklaces’ cannot protect you from coronavirus

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim more lives, more and more products are popping up falsely claiming to prevent the disease. One of those products getting popularity now in India is a so-called “virus shut out” necklace.  

Debunking 6 viral claims about COVID-19 remedies

There’s no dearth of posts on social media platforms claiming to have found the cure for the coronavirus. Here’s one in Hindi that makes not one, but several claims about COVID-19 cures and prevention.

Three common myths about polio vaccine

Myths about the polio vaccine continue to reappear. This World Polio Day, we debunk the most common myths about the polio vaccine.

Drinking tea is not a cure for Covid-19

Claims about tea being a cure for COVID-19 have been doing the rounds since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak. While the popular drink may be beneficial for health in general, it certainly doesn’t have any curative powers against the deadly virus. 

Myths about polycystic ovary syndrome and why they’re misleading

Since polycystic ovary syndrome is not well understood, there is widespread misinformation about this condition.  Misinformation can impact its diagnosis leading to assumptions and generalisations in the absence of facts. 

No, Vicks VapoRub will not help in reducing belly fat

There is no scientific evidence to prove that Vicks VapoRub, a topical ointment used for nasal congestion and cough can melt away belly fat and eventually lead to weight loss. The claim is false.

Unproven COVID-19 treatment list circulates on Whatsapp

A photo of a list of treatments claiming to have been recommended to “patients recovering from the hospital” along with a listing of symptoms is circulating on WhatsApp in India. The claims are false with unsubstantiated remedies.

No, homemade concoctions may not help in passing kidney stones

A Youtube video claims that a concoction of onion, cumin, sugar crystals and lemon will help pass kidney stones. But there is no evidence to prove that this mix of ingredients can cure or help in passing kidney stones. The claim is false.

No, washing hands with lemon will not protect you from Covid-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 10 fake claims citing the medicinal properties of lemon or drinking hot lemon juice or mixing lemon with soda, tea have been doing rounds. A new claim saying that washing hands with lemon juice can protect from coronavirus is unsubstantiated. We found that there is no study or data to back up this claim.

100 fake COVID-19 WhatsApp forwards that we almost believed

The spread of dubious claims and false information during the coronavirus outbreak has been rapid on the popular messaging platform – WhatsApp. Here, with the help of our team of doctors and fact-checkers, we debunk the hundred most widely circulated and harmful content and claims related to COVID-19.

Trends in Covid-19 misinformation in India

Amid an unprecedented global health crisis, health journalists faced a double whammy – one to report effectively on the pandemic and the other to fight the tide of misinformation which spread faster than the virus itself. Here is an analysis of how fake news hit India at various stages during Covid-19.

Why a lot of Covid-19 infographics are wrong?

There is a lot of data visualisation about COVID-19 which can be misleading. We identified five common mistakes in data visualisation and how one can spot them.

10 Twitter posts on Covid-19 that mislead the world

We’ve been looking at some of the most widely circulated posts on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter since the start of the pandemic. This week, we have compiled and debunked the 10 claims that are currently circulating.