Claim: A claim on WhatsApp has warned that the frequent use of hand sanitizers could cause ‘Trypophobia’ skin disease.
Trypophobia defined as fear for patterns of clustered holes and bumps. Although this particular phobia has been described as an online hoax, expert opinions suggest that there is usually phobic reactions when some individuals sight people who have smallpox or chickenpox.
Subsequently, the claim warned the general public against the use of hand sanitizers which have already been approved by health experts and various government agencies for the prevention of the spread of several diseases.
The 35 seconds audio message suggests that, rather than serve as a preventive measure against Coronavirus, hand sanitizers were introduced by the United States of America and other countries to wipe away the Africans.
FACT: The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) fact-checkers investigated the claim and established that the audio is purely anonymous as the speaker failed to introduce himself, who he represents or give any justification for the false claim.
Further investigations revealed that there is also no medical or scientific proof of substantiating the claim.
Also, as at today, the use of hand sanitizers has strongly been recommended by medical experts and authorities as a preventive measure against Coronavirus.
We observed that the audio was aimed at raising mischievous suspicions on the user of hand sanitizer and by extension stop people from being prevented from some organisms.
The claim that the use of hand sanitizers causes trypophobia is FALSE! CDD urges Nigerians to disregard the claim and stop sharing the audio on all platforms. The public should also continue to use hand sanitizer and other preventive measures against diseases as suggested by NCDC, WHO among others.