Sadly this is now happening with the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, which has already killed more than 100 people, with more than 4000 people reported to have been infected.
Now the virus is starting to spread overseas with around 73 people tested for the virus in the UK, all of which came back as negative.
Whenever there is an outbreak of a relatively unknown disease, people can tend to worry about what will come next especially when they see images of the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, on lock down.
However, if you are concerned about what is happening in China and have seen your newsfeeds littered with stories and speculation about the coronavirus, please be vigilant and think twice before you decide to share or interact with a post.
Here are a few examples of things that you should be looking out for.
Some Asian foods contain traces of the disease
A report by Mashablestates that fake information about the coronavirus being found in pieces of popular Asian food is being spread on Facebook and Instagram in Australia
The story claims that the virus has been found in Yakult, wagyu beef, Nongshim Onion Ring snacks, peach ice tea, instant noodles, fortune cookies, Red Bull and even rice.
Fake news and misinformation around the coronavirus is wild. Childcare centres are sharing a post claiming wagyu be… https://t.co/32zN6EbXHq
Yep, it was only a matter of time before conspiracy theorist latched onto this story.
Several prominent pro-Trump QAnon accounts have spread rumours that the disease is being used as a distraction tactic to stop Trump getting reelected in this year's election.
The Daily Beast has reported that prominent conspiracy theorist such as Jordan Sathler and 'Chief Police 2' have shared posts and videos claiming the virus is a 'fad' and that consuming 'Miracle Mineral Solution' a liquid described by the Food and Drug Administration as a 'dangerous bleach' can stop people from contracting the disease.
There have also been false claims made by anti-vaxxers that the disease was patented by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the Pirbright Institute in Surrey in 2015 as a way of making more money.
It should be noted, that at the time of writing, no vaccination for the coronavirus has actually been discovered, making these claims even more incorrect.
Pirbright have developed a heavily weakened version of the virus that could be used as a vaccine on animals, mostly birds, with respiratory problems but they do not currently work with any version of the disease that would affect humans.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Teresa Maughan, a spokesperson for the Pirbright Institute confirmed that their research wasn't funded by the Gates Foundation and their virus doesn't affect humans.
The patented work cited in the conspiracy theories involved infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) only, and we made four changes in the gene responsible for replicating the virus’s genetic material.
This has weakened the virus so it is no longer able to cause disease and has potential to be used as a vaccine, but has not yet been developed.
The patented work was completed in 2015 and is not funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
So with all this information in mind, the next time you see a post about the coronavirus that looks suspicious please do some research and think before you click share.