The University of South Florida College of Public Health is hosting virtual sessions in Spanish to spread more COVID-19 knowledge within the Hispanic community.
”What I’ve seen from social media is there is a lot of misinformation,” said Dr. Miguel Reina Ortiz, USF professor of global communicable diseases.
“What I’ve been able to gather from my circle of friends and family and relatives, things that we see on social media pop up.”
To fight this, the college will hold several Zoom discussions with Spanish speaking faculty.
“People have direct access to the experts and they can ask questions and dispel myths because sometimes there might be issues with health literacy for instance,” Ortiz said. “Some people may have low health literacy and not be getting that information from the pamphlets.”
Dr. Arlene Calvo said Latinos are five times as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and twice as likely to die from it.
“We are doing research on why these things are happening and the type of info that Latinos are receiving,” Calvo said.
“We’re also developing science based fact based messages that are in Spanish but are understandable by our communities in general so we’re developing videos, developing social media interventions.”
The first session, on Tuesday, will focus on vaccines. Other calls will cover topics like prevention.
“We know that the information we’re going to be providing is trustworthy, that the community should listen to it and pay attention as well,” Calvo said.
The Zoom events will be livestreamed on the college's Facebook page. The Zoom session itself will have an interactive Q and A panel.