WHO joins TikTok to battle coronavirus misinformation

In its continued efforts to tamp down misinformation about COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus from China, the World Health Organization has joined social media platform TikTok to share "reliable and timely public health advice."

WHO's first TikTok video, posted on the platform Feb. 28, according to USA Today, features Benedetta Allegranzi, MD, the organization's technical lead of infection prevention and control. In the video, Dr. Allegranzi describes proper hand-washing, coughing and sneezing techniques to best prevent the spread of coronavirus, and lists possible symptoms of the virus.

The group's second video assures viewers that face masks need only be worn by health workers, caretakers and individuals experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and runny nose. For those groups, Dr. April Baller, part of WHO's health emergencies program, outlines in the video proper mask-wearing technique.

WHO has made a point of focusing on social media to crack down on misinformation about the fast-spreading virus, which has infected more than 90,000 worldwide. In mid-February, the organization met with tech giants including Amazon, Google, Twitter and YouTube at Facebook's headquarters to brainstorm ways to battle the spread of false information.

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