Coronavirus in Europe: epidemic or 'infodemic'?

div class="story-body__introduction" style="background-color: white; border: 0px; color: #404040; font-family: Helmet, Freesans, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1rem; font-stretch: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; line-height: 1.375; margin-top: 28px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> France must prepare for a coronavirus epidemic, President Emmanuel Macron says, but Italy - the worst-affected country in Europe - says misleading news is creating an "infodemic".
Mr Macron is due to discuss the crisis with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Naples.
In Italy, more than 400 people are infected and 14 have died, amid global efforts to stop the virus spreading.
Germany is also facing an epidemic, Health Minister Jens Spahn has said.
Italy registered a 25% surge in coronavirus cases in 24 hours, and the infections remain centred on outbreaks in two northern regions - Lombardy and Veneto. But a few cases have turned up now in southern Italy too.
Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told reporters that an "infodemic" of misleading news abroad was damaging Italy's economy and reputation. He said all the infections in Italy could be traced back to the two outbreaks in the north.
Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana put himself into self-isolation after a member of his team tested positive. On Facebook, he said he and the rest of his team had tested negative so far, but would remain in quarantine for 14 days.
Italy's tourism association Assoturismo says March accommodation bookings are down by at least €200m (£170m; $219m) because of the virus.

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