Coronavirus myths and misinformation, debunked

As the novel coronavirus -- and panic about the coronavirus -- continues to spread around the world, so too are bogus claims, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the disease. (Alberto Mier/CNN)

As the novel coronavirus -- and panic about the coronavirus -- continues to spread around the world, so too are bogus claims, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the disease.

There's so much inaccurate information floating around out there that the World Health Organization is calling it an "infodemic." In perhaps the clearest sign of the times, WHO has joined TikTok to help set the record straight.

The myths exist both on the fringes of the internet and in more mainstream outlets. And while social media platforms are now taking steps to elevate credible information and remove content that could confuse people, they're fighting an uphill battle. Meanwhile, censorship and government mistrust in some countries have created a petri dish for misinformation to spread.

Here's the truth about the new coronavirus.

Myth: Coronavirus is man-made

Reality: Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

As the coronavirus outbreak turned into a full-fledged public health crisis, a fringe theory about the virus' origins started to take hold on the internet: that the virus didn't come from nature, but had instead been created in a lab.

The rumors, which originated from unverified social media accounts and weren't supported by any credible evidence, got more elaborate as time went on.