BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an infodemic, in which a plethora of false information has been rapidly disseminated online, leading to serious harm around the world .
OBJECTIVE: This work aims to analyze the prevalence of common misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic .
METHODS: We conducted an online survey via a survey company and social media platforms to ask whether respondents have been exposed to a broad set of false claims regarding the disease and their respective fact-checks .
RESULTS: We obtained more than 41,000 responses from 85 countries by 1,257 respondents, and we identified a strong negative correlation between a country's economic status and the prevalence of the misinformation (Spearman's ρ=-0.72, P <.001). Our results suggest that fact-checks spread to a lesser degree than their respective false claims following a sublinear trend (β=0.64).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results imply that the potential harm of misinformation could be more substantial for developing countries than developed economies . Countries with poor infrastructures might not only have to combat the spreading pandemic but also the COVID-19 infodemic, which can derail crucial efforts in saving lives . CLINICALTRIAL :