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Coronavirus myths versus facts

Coronavirus Myths Versus Facts

Coronavirus: Myths versus Facts

As the Coronavirus carry on to impact the world and make the news, a plethora of untruth has surrounded the topic. With a variety of platforms and ways, there’s a lot of information being thrown about COVID-19, the disease caused by the new Coronavirus through news, articles and social media posts. So, it becomes of utmost importance to know what’s true and what’s not in this relentless flood of information as, during a significant outbreak, rumours and misinformation can be dangerous.

The new coronavirus, now called SARS-CoV-2, a virus originating in Wuhan, China has spread all over the world except Antarctica.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially changed the status of this virus from a public health emergency of international concern to a 'pandemic' on March 11.

To this date, this family of coronavirus – currently “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.” Or SARS-CoV-2, is responsible for over 2.71M infections worldwide, causing more than 191K deaths.

Naturally, people get panicked as soon as the word “pandemic” starts making it to headlines, causing them to become more frightened, and fear brings along misinformation and rumours.

Here are some myths which everyone might have heard at some point or the other. It is important to know what is true and what are the rumours.

1. Spraying alcohol or chlorine on skin kills viruses

No. On the contrary, applying alcohol or chlorine all over the body will only cause harm, especially if it enters the eyes, mouth or inside your body. However, these chemicals can be used to disinfect the outside surfaces, but they shouldn’t be used on the skin. These products cannot kill viruses within the body.

2. Older adults and young people are the only ones at risk.

Just like any other coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, can cling to and infect people of any age. Although, senior citizens or individuals with existing health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, have more chances to catch the infection and become severely ill.

3.COVID-19 cannot infect Children

Every age group is prone to this virus. However, most cases as of now have been in adults, but children are not safe from it too. Initial evidence shows that children are equally likely to catch the infection although the symptoms tend to be less severe.

4. Everyone with COVID-19 succumbs to the disease

This is completely false. COVID-19 infection proves to be fatal only for a small percentage of people. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently concluded in their reports that 80.9% of COVID-19 cases were mild.

The World Health Organisation also reported that around 80% of people will go through a comparatively mild form of the disease, where special treatment in the hospital won’t be required.

Mild symptoms may consist of cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath and tiredness.

5. Pets can spread Coronavirus

To this date, there is very little evidence that COVID-19 can infect cats and dogs. In Hong Kong, however, a Pomeranian was reported to be infected. The owner had COVID-19 as well. The dog did not display any symptoms.

This topic is in debate amongst scientists as to the importance of this case to the epidemic. But one thing is for sure, the real driver of this outbreak is humans.

6. Hand dryers kill Coronavirus

No, Hand dryers do not kill the coronavirus. Washing your hands with soap and water or some alcohol-based hand rub is the best way of protecting yourself and everyone around you.

7. You must be 10 minutes with someone to catch the virus

It is possible to catch the virus in less than 10 minutes. However, the longer you are with someone who’s infected, the more are the chances of you catching the virus.

8. Washing nose with saline protects against COVID-19

Currently, there is no evidence that rinsing your nose with saline will protect you from respiratory infections. Scientists have not found out yet that it can reduce the risk of catching the infection.

9. Antibiotics kill coronavirus

No. Antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses.

10. Garlic protects against coronaviruses

There is no evidence that garlic can guard people against COVID-19. However, some researchers suggest that garlic might be responsible for slowing the growth of some species of bacteria.

These were some myths that were becoming popular amongst people and hence, were essential to be busted. As of now, the only cure is self-care. Follow the safety measure and adhere to the guidelines.

  1. Keep maintaining social distance
  2. Keep washing hands frequently
  3. Stay at home
  4. Use cleaning sprays and wipes to disinfect everyday use objects.
  5. Wear a mask or cloth face-covering in pharmacies, stores and other public settings.

The safety measures are simple, but in this pandemic situation, these are the only ways that can make a difference.