In February of 2020, when much of the world was just wrapping its mind around the COVID-19 fundamentals, and trying to navigate the flood of information about it, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, raised the alarm that “we’re not just fighting an epidemic, we’re fighting an infodemic.”
During a WHO online consultation that was held in April 2020 a framework for managing the COVID-19 infodemic was developed. Within that framework, 50 key actions were listed, one of which was to hold the first WHO infodemiology conference.
Fast forward three months to June, when that first conference came to life. WHO convened more than 100 experts from 20 different disciplines and 35 different countries to define this nascent field of science for infodemicmanagement. From this conference, a vibrant community of research and practice was born, and a public health research agenda was established to implement guidance to understand, measure and respond to infodemics, so that going forward, people in every corner of the world have timely access to understandable health information and advice for making good health choices.
At the conference, the professionals split into multi-disciplinary teams and workshopped for days. From those discussions, five streams of thinking emerged for where to focus infodemic research…more