Covid19, Myths, Rumors Around the World
As the novel coronavirus continues to infect people around the world, news articles and social media posts about the same have been constantly circulating online; making it difficult to separate fact from fiction and during such a pandemic, myths and misinformation can be dangerous.
In order to avoid the spread of such rumours, we have compiled a list of myths and rumours about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID19, which are misleading and absolute non-sense.
MYTH 1: COVID19 virus cannot be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the pieces of evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid climates. Regardless of the climate, one must adopt the protective measures.
MYTH 2: Cold weather and snow can kill the novel coronavirus
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus because humans being homeotherms (warm-blooded) maintain a normal body temperature (97.7°F to 99.5°F), regardless of the external temperature or weather.
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MYTH 3: Taking a hot bath prevents the new coronavirus disease
Taking a hot bath does not prevent us from catching COVID19. As mentioned above, our normal body temperature remains around 97.7°F to 99.5°F, regardless of the temperature of the shower. In reality, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn the skin.
MYTH 4: The new coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bites
There has been no information or evidence to suggest about this myth that the covid19 could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
MYTH 5: Hand dryers are effective in killing the covid19
No, hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. The most effective way to protect ourselves against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning our hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water; drying them thoroughly using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
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MYTH 6: One must use ultraviolet disinfection lamps to kill the new coronavirus
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or any other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
MYTH 7: Thermal scanners can effectively detect people infected with coronavirus
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but as yet, do not have a fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
MYTH 8: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body can kill the new coronavirus
No, spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body will not kill viruses that have already entered our bodies. It is important to understand that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
MYTH 9: Vaccines against pneumonia can provide protection against coronavirus
No, vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV. Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended.
MYTH 10: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can help prevent infection with the new coronavirus
No, there is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline can provide protection from infection with the new coronavirus. However, it can help people recover more quickly from the common cold to some extent.
MYTH 11: Eating garlic can help prevent infection with the new coronavirus
Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
MYTH 12: The new coronavirus affects only older people
People from all age groups are susceptible to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
MYTH 13: Antibiotics are effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses; they are effective only against bacteria. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, one may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
MYTH 14: There are specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials.
MYTH 15: Pets can spread the new coronavirus
Probably not to humans. One dog in China contracted a “low-level infection” from its owner, who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, meaning dogs may be vulnerable to picking up the virus from people, according to The South China Morning Post. The infected Pomeranian has not fallen ill or shown symptoms of the disease, and no evidence suggests that the animal could infect humans.
MYTH 16: Vitamin C supplements can prevent you from catching COVID19
Researchers are yet to find any evidence against a myth that vitamin C supplements can render people immune to COVID19 infection. However, vitamin C serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function. As an antioxidant, the vitamin neutralizes charged particles called free radicals that can damage tissues in the body. It also helps the body synthesize hormones, build collagen and seal off vulnerable connective tissue against pathogens.
MYTH 17: It is not safe to receive a package from China
It is safe to receive letters or packages from China, according to the World Health Organization. Previous research has found that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters and packages.
The best way of protecting ourselves from COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning our hands. One must use an alcohol-based hand rub or simply, soap and water. By doing so, we can eliminate viruses that may be present on our hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching our eyes, mouth or nose. Also, one must avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
Ritik Kumar Das
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