While misinformation linked the new acute childhood hepatitis cases with a previous COVID-19 infection, a Health World Organization (WHO) technical report states that there is not enough information to identify the etiological agent behind these cases.
A manipulated image from The Japan Times circulating in social media claimed that the WHO had stated that the diseases were linked. WHO has not made an official statement regarding this speculation because of the limited data.
As reported by MBN, the first cases of severe acute childhood hepatitis in Mexico were identified in Nuevo Leon. The Mexican Government is currently studying 21 hepatitis cases of unknown origin, according to El Economista.
“We are currently studying 17 cases, plus four that were reported yesterday. We are reporting and analyzing all the cases. So far, neither in Mexico nor in the world there is evidence to confirm or rule out the cause of this hepatitis,” said the Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo López-Gatell.
One of the largest challenges the health industry must fight is misinformation regarding vaccination and medications, a problem that has affected the sector for many years but became stronger during the COVID-19 outbreak. Medical misinformation is one of the most important issues affecting social media users. While platforms are working to curb this problem, Fact Check Organization urges readers to be skeptical of any story that pops in their feed. The consumer advocate nonprofit published a series of recommendations to help users spot fake or unofficial stories:
- Consider the source: Misinformation often comes from “look alike” pages or accounts.
- Read between the headline: Headlines do not always tell the full story and are often created to obtain more clicks.
- Check the author: It is often a bad sign if the article does not indicate its author.
- Check the date: What may be true today does not mean it will necessarily stay true tomorrow.