Misleading COVID-19 flyer linked to VA hospital is fake, officials say

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A flyer purporting to be an official Department of Veterans Affairs document full of misleading COVID-19 advice is fake, VA officials said. 

The flyer circulating on social media and being provided to veterans has a VA seal and letterhead that makes it appear to have originated from the Roseburg Healthcare System in Oregon and the Brookings VA clinic. 

That's not the case. The flyer was not issued by the Roseburg VA or any VA medical facility and does not represent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. In fact, the information it contains is misleading and could be harmful. 

"This is not official Roseburg VA Health Care System, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance," VA Press Secretary Christina Mandreucci told Connecting Vets. "We are currently looking into the origins of this document." 

The most current, genuine updates for COVID-19 from the VA are on its website, Mandreucci said. For more information, go to www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus

The origin of the document is so far unclear, but it has been posted on social media platforms repeatedly. It includes misleading information about COVID-19 symptoms and makes unsubstantiated claims about the virus, such as a claim that the virus dies at temperatures above 80 degrees. But the CDC and other experts says too little peer-reviewed research has been completed on COVID-19 to make such claims. 

"It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19," according to the CDC. 

"From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid weather," according to the World Health Organization. 

The Roseburg VA itself shared the document, edited to include bold red letters that read "Not official. Do not share" in an attempt to prevent misinformation.

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Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett.
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