Overarching Themes of Rumors About COVID-19 in Côte d'Ivoire, March to August 2020

Denial of the reality of the virus and case estimatesQuestions or suspicions that the virus is a complete fabrication, or that it exists elsewhere but not in Côte d'Ivoire. Beliefs that the official case counts are false or deliberately misleading (often tied to the belief that the virus is not real) for a political or financial agenda.
Origin and evolution of the pandemicBeliefs or conspiracy theories about where the virus originated and how and why the pandemic is progressing the way it is, including the belief that the pandemic has ended.
Recommended public health measuresBeliefs about prevention measures such as masks, distancing, reducing travel, quarantining if exposed, testing, and seeking treatment. These beliefs intersect with response efficacy (whether prevention measures work to prevent COVID-19), self-efficacy (whether people feel they can practice the behaviors or what factors stop them from being able to practice the behaviors), and conspiracy theories about secret or nefarious reasons these particular measures are recommended.
Vaccine development and useQuestions or statements about the COVID-19 vaccines, including their development, authorization, testing, and implementation.
Alternative prevention and treatment methodsSuggestions or beliefs about how COVID-19 may be prevented or treated outside of the official recommendations, including home remedies and religious or traditional approaches.
Perceived risk or susceptibilityBeliefs about who is at risk of infection, severe illness, or death - including comparison with other diseases and differentiating the level of risk by various sociodemographic factors (e.g., ethnicity, climate, age, profession, and wealth).
Perceived severity and symptoms of the illnessBeliefs about whether COVID-19 is serious or not, comparisons with the seriousness of other illnesses, and beliefs about specific symptoms.
  • Abbreviation: COVID-19, coronavirus disease.