Thousands of fake social media accounts promote conspiraciesCampaign seizes on international health concerns, say officialsCoronavirus: more deaths confirmed – latest updates

Thousands of Russian-linked social media accounts have launched a coordinated effort to spread misinformation and alarm about coronavirus, disrupting global efforts to fight the epidemic, US officials have said.

The disinformation campaign promotes unfounded conspiracy theories that the US is behind the new coronavirus outbreak, in an apparent bid to damage America’s image around the world.

Related: Coronavirus: asymptomatic Wuhan woman shows why outbreak ‘will be hard to stop’

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