False rumours on coronavirus could cost lives, say researchers

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Study finds people who believe online scare stories are more likely to ignore health advice

Misinformation and fake news on social media during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current novel coronavirus epidemic, can cost lives, according to researchers.

About 40% of people in the UK believe at least one conspiracy theory of some kind, say the researchers from East Anglia University. The figures are even higher in the United States and other parts of the world.

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