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Original Article

J. Islam. Int. Med. Coll.. 2021; 16(3): 171-175

Effect of COVID-19 Related Infodemic on Health of General Public of Pakistan

Azeema Noor, Tahira Sadiq.


Objective: To know the public opinion about the role of infodemic in spreading fear & panic among the public of Pakistan and to assess the effect of fear created by infodemic on their health.
Study Design: This was a cross sectional survey.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted from 14 July 2020 to 25 August 2020 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted using a pre-validated questionnaire from 14 July 2020 till 25 August 2020. People of age >12 years were invited to participate in an online survey through Google forms. A written consent was obtained from all the participants before filling the questionnaire. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences SPSS version 24.
Results: Total 541 participants took part in this survey. 320 (59%) of which females and 221 (41%) were males. Majority 224(41%) reported that category of misinformation and fake news about COVID-19 had the most impact in creating fear and panic among people. 80% (432) reported that infodemic played a role in creating fear and panic among people, 310(57.4%) participants reported that infodemic created fear on them, 304(56.2%) reported their health was affected, 182(33.6%) had effects on psychological health, 17(3%) had effect on physical health while 105(19.4%) had effects on both psychological and physical health.
Conclusion: Infodemic caused by media played a major role in creating fear and panic among people. Fear created by infodemic during the Covid-19 outbreak is associated with negative psychological outcome in our population.

Key words: COVID-19, Fear, Pandemic, Public Health.

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