A Second Pandemic? Perspective on Information Overload in the COVID-19 Era

Taher S. Valika*, Sarah E. Maurrasse, Lara Reichert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the globe in previously unimaginable ways, with far-reaching economic and social implications. It has also led to an outpouring of daily, ever-changing information. To assess the amount of data that were emerging, a PubMed search related to COVID-19 was performed. Nearly 8000 articles have been published since the virus was defined 4 months ago. This number has grown exponentially every month, potentially hindering our ability to discern what is scientifically important. Unlike previous global pandemics, we exist in a world of instantaneous access. Information, accurate or otherwise, is flowing from one side of the world to the other via word of mouth, social media, news, and medical journals. Changes in practice guidelines should be based on high-quality, well-powered research. Our job as health care providers is to mitigate misinformation and provide reassurance to prevent a second pandemic of misinformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-933
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • health data
  • information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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