The novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, spread rapidly across the world, along with it the information about it spread everywhere. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the situation pandemic in March 2020 which led to a certain amount of fear among the people. When people tend to become fearful, rumours and misinformation are aplenty.
It is very important to know the facts about the coronavirus so that you do not fall prey to misinformation. This article ventures into the myths of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and facts and truths about the novel coronavirus.
- Myths About COVID-19:
- 1. Hot Climate Will Kill The Virus:
- 2. Exposure To Sun Will Kill The Virus:
- 3. Alcohol Consumption Cures COVID-19 Infection:
- 4. Hot Bath Will Cure The Infection:
- 5. Virus Can Be Spread Through Mosquito Bites:
- 6. Antibiotics Are Effective Against The COVID-19 Infection:
- 7. Thermal Scanners Can Detect The Virus:
- 8. Consuming Garlic And Sesame Seeds Will Protect Against The Novel Coronavirus:
- 9. Pneumonia Vaccine Can Protect Against The Virus:
- 10. Spraying Disinfectant or Alcohol Can Cure The Infection:
- 11. Rinsing Nose With Saline Water Will Prevent The Infection:
- 12. You Cannot Recover From COVID-19:
- 13. Cold Weather And Snow Can Kill The Virus:
- 14. Hand Dryers Are Effective Against The New Coronavirus:
- 15. Ultraviolet Disinfection Lamp Will Kill The Virus:
- 16. Younger Persons Are Not Susceptible To The Virus:
- 17. Holding Your Breath For A While Will Prevent You From The Virus:
- 18. Medicines Are Available To Prevent Or Treat COVID-19:
- 19. Chlorine Will Kill The Virus:
- 20. Meat Or Non-Vegetarian Food Consumption Will Lead To Infection:
- 21. Visit Hospital Immediately If You Have Severe Cough:
- 22. Children Are At A Higher Risk Of Contracting The Virus:
- 23. Pets Can Spread The Virus:
- 24. 5G Mobile Networks Spread The Virus:
- 25. COVID-19 Affects Only Older People:
- What Should You Do?
- Frequently Asked Questions:
Myths About COVID-19:
Myths about the novel coronavirus spread fast and it is very crucial we are better prepared to not fall prey to wrong information. With the advent of digitalization, possibilities of fake news being circulated grew. So, it is even more important to keep yourself abreast of the facts about the novel coronavirus. In order to bust false information about the novel coronavirus, the WHO and the Indian government have issued advisories for the public. Below the list of myths about COVID-19:
1. Hot Climate Will Kill The Virus:
COVID-19 can be transmitted in all types of areas and does not matter what area you live in. Be it hot or humid conditions, the virus has the potential to spread; however, you need to restraint caution by adopting protective measures such as frequently washing your hands. This will eliminate the possibility of the virus spreading where you live.
2. Exposure To Sun Will Kill The Virus:
It does not matter if the weather is hot or sunny as several countries which are known for the hot conditions have reported COVID-19 positive cases. Maintaining social distancing as per guidelines issued by the local authorities is very important to contain the spread of the pandemic virus. Ensure you wash your hands regularly before touching your nose, mouth and eyes. However, exposure to sun is a rich source of Vitamin D, which in turn helps in keeping your immune system healthy.
3. Alcohol Consumption Cures COVID-19 Infection:
The WHO states that excessive or regular consumption of alcohol has the potential to increase the risk of health problems. There is no established evidence that drinking alcohol can cure COVID-19.
4. Hot Bath Will Cure The Infection:
It does not matter at what temperature you take your bath or shower. Normal body temperature hovers around 36.5 to 37 Degree Celsius, having a hot bath does not cure you from contracting the disease. Washing hands regularly is one of the best ways to keep clean and maintain hygiene.
5. Virus Can Be Spread Through Mosquito Bites:
There is no evidence till date that mosquito bites will infect you with COVID-19. The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads through the discharge of droplets while coughing and sneezing or through discharge from the nose or through droplets of saliva. Ensure you do not come in contact with persons who have been tested positive for COVID-19. Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer to protect yourself from catching the virus.
6. Antibiotics Are Effective Against The COVID-19 Infection:
Antibiotics are effective in fighting against bacteria and not viruses. COVID-19 is a virus hence it cannot be treated or used as a prevention measure against the novel coronavirus. However, medical treatment for bacterial co-infection may require the use of antibiotics by medical professionals.
7. Thermal Scanners Can Detect The Virus:
Thermal scanners can detect persons with a fever above their normal body temperature. However, they cannot detect those who are infected by the COVID-19 disease but have not developed a fever. Persons infected by the novel coronavirus take some time to develop a fever which can be between 2 to 10 days. Hence, thermal scanners cannot detect if a person is infected by the virus.
While garlic is known to contain several health benefits, it does not protect you against the virus. The same with sesame seeds, there is no evidence that they can help protect you against contracting the virus.
9. Pneumonia Vaccine Can Protect Against The Virus:
While the Pneumonia vaccine is known to cure pneumonia, there is no evidence that this vaccine can be used against the COVID-19.
10. Spraying Disinfectant or Alcohol Can Cure The Infection:
The novel coronavirus primarily infects a person by entering through nose or mouth. By spraying, alcohol or disinfectant such as hand sanitizers will not cure the disease. However, alcohol-based hand rub or washing hands with soap will prevent germs from entering your nose, eyes or mouth through infected hands.
Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline Number, India
11. Rinsing Nose With Saline Water Will Prevent The Infection:
Common cold can be treated by rinsing your nose with saline water; however, this method has not been found effective when it comes to preventing the COVID-19 infection.
12. You Cannot Recover From COVID-19:
Most treated persons have recovered and have eliminated COVID-19 from their bodies. However, it is very important that you seek medical attention as soon as you realize you have COVID-19 symptoms. Call your local health facility by phone and seek medical care. Thanks to supportive care, most patients have recovered from the deadly virus.
13. Cold Weather And Snow Can Kill The Virus:
There is no evidence that snow or cold climatic conditions will kill the virus. Despite different external weather or temperatures, COVID-19 seems to have spread across the globe. It is essential to follow strict guidelines issued by the local authorities to ensure you stay safe and away from contracting the virus.
Hand dryers have not been found effective against contracting the infection of COVID-19. It is essential to follow a hygienic lifestyle to prevent germs from entering your nose, eyes or mouth. Washing your hands frequently and surfaces will help mitigate the possibility of infecting you.
15. Ultraviolet Disinfection Lamp Will Kill The Virus:
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin irritation if used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin. UV rays have no evidence of treating COVID-19 infection and hence, it is important to stay away from using UV radiation as a measure to contain the virus.
16. Younger Persons Are Not Susceptible To The Virus:
As per the WHO’s guidelines, persons of all ages can contract the deadly novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. Older persons with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart ailments, etc. seem to be more susceptible to being infected by the novel coronavirus.
17. Holding Your Breath For A While Will Prevent You From The Virus:
The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever and tiredness and severe form of pneumonia. The myth about holding your breath from more than 10 seconds will prevent you from catching the virus is not true. It is prudent that you take a COVID-19 test to confirm if you have contracted the disease.
18. Medicines Are Available To Prevent Or Treat COVID-19:
There are no specific medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19 as of April 2020. The WHO is working with partners on certain treatments which will be tested through clinical trials before the vaccination for the novel coronavirus is made available to people.
19. Chlorine Will Kill The Virus:
If you have contracted the virus, spraying of chlorine all over the body will not kill the novel coronavirus. While it is effective to clean surfaces as it acts as a disinfectant, you need to use it as per recommendations.
20. Meat Or Non-Vegetarian Food Consumption Will Lead To Infection:
While it has been found that the novel coronavirus was transmitted from an animal to man; there are no known animal species to carry this virus. Ensure you consume meat or non-vegetarian foods prepared with hygiene care.
Also, read: Ways To Remain Healthy During Social Distancing
21. Visit Hospital Immediately If You Have Severe Cough:
It has been advised that during a pandemic it is not advisable to visit a hospital. However, if you are experiencing high fever and severe cough, consult a doctor over the phone and take the next appropriate action.
22. Children Are At A Higher Risk Of Contracting The Virus:
As per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is found to have infected more adults than children. While there are cases of children being infected by the virus, adults occupy most of the cases known across the world.
23. Pets Can Spread The Virus:
As per the instruction by the CDC, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to humans. However, it is known that animals can spread other types of diseases so it is always good to follow healthy habits when you are around pets. Washing your hands regularly will ensure you keep the utmost priority for hygiene.
24. 5G Mobile Networks Spread The Virus:
The WHO says that viruses such as the novel coronavirus cannot travel on mobile networks or radio waves. It has been found that the virus is spreading across countries which do not have the 5G technology.
25. COVID-19 Affects Only Older People:
The novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 affects older and younger people. However, older people with a pre-existing medical history of diabetes, asthma, heart or lung ailments are more prone to the virus affecting them.
What Should You Do?
Follow the below simple measures to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19:
- Confirm all information about COVID-19 and do not fall prey to mischief mongers.
- Check only websites or other communication channels of the Indian Government for information about the virus.
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth before washing your hands.
- Avoid coming in close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- If you are sick, stay at home.
- Follow guidelines issued by the local authorities about maintaining hygiene.
- Sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
- Disinfect surfaces regularly.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Wear a mask when you are out shopping for medicines and other essential goods.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Below are some of the FAQs about the novel coronavirus and its myths surrounding it:
Yes. The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 causes symptoms which are similar to other flu such as fever, severe cough and aches. However, SAR-CoV-2 is more serious and can be fatal.
While COVID-19 is more serious than the regular flu, the Ebola disease has higher mortality rates. The novel coronavirus is not the deadliest virus known to mankind.
Healthcare workers, caretaker of a home quarantined person and those who show symptoms of COVID-19 should wear a mask to avoid the spread of the virus. However, based on the situation, local authorities mandate wearing masks when you venture out.
People who have contracted the infection but have not shown any COVID-19 symptoms can also spread the disease.
The WHO recommends that the entire procedure of washing your hands should be for at least 20 seconds to ensure germs do not spread.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
- COVID-19 BOOK OF FIVE Response and Containment Measures for ANM, ASHA, AWW, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India, https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/3Pocketbookof5_Covid19_27March.pdf
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#COVID-19-and-Children
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