Coronavirus outbreak: myth vs. facts

NEW DELHI: As the novel, also known as COVID-19, extends from Wuhan, China to 109 countries, so do all kinds of rumors. To prevent erroneous information from spreading further, WHO has published a list of myth destroyers. Here is a look at the most common myths and why they are wrong.

  1. Cold weather and snow kill the new coronavirus

    There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal temperature of the human body remains around 36.5 ° C at 37 ° C, regardless of external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect against the new coronavirus is to frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or wash them with soap and water.
  2. Taking a hot bath prevents the new coronavirus disease

    Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains between 36.5 ° C and 37 ° C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn it. The best way to protect against COVID-19 is to clean your hands frequently. By doing this, it eliminates viruses that may be in your hands and prevents infection that could occur when touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  3. The new coronavirus can be transmitted through products made in China or in any country that reports cases of COVID-19.

    Although the new coronavirus can remain on the surface for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions . and temperatures If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water.
  4. The new coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bites.

    To date there has been no information or evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus can be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly through drops generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through drops of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, wash your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
  5. Effective hand dryers to kill the new coronavirus

    Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect against the new coronavirus, you should often clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Once you have cleaned your hands, you should dry them completely with paper towels or a hot air dryer.
  6. Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?

    UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of the skin, since UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
  7. How effective are thermal scanners in the detection of people infected with the new coronavirus?

    Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (that is, who have a higher than normal body temperature) due to infection with the new coronavirus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with a fever. This is because it takes 2 to 10 days before infected people get sick and develop a fever.
  8. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine throughout the body kill the new coronavirus?

    No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine throughout the body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances may be harmful to clothing or mucous membranes (ie, eyes, mouth). Keep in mind that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful for disinfecting surfaces, but should be used according to appropriate recommendations.
  9. Can pets at home transmit the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

    Currently, there is no evidence that pets/pets, such as dogs or cats, can become infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against several common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
  10. Do pneumonia vaccines protect you against the new coronavirus?

    No. Pneumonia vaccines, such as the pneumococcal vaccine and the Haemophilus type B (Hib) influenza 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, and WHO is supporting their efforts. Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, the vaccine against respiratory diseases is highly recommended to protect your health.
  11. Can you regularly rinse your nose with saline solution to help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

    No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline solution has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is limited evidence that rinsing the nose regularly with saline solution can help people recover more quickly from common cold . However, rinsing the nose regularly has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
  12. Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

    Garlic is a healthy food that can have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence of the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
  13. Does the new coronavirus affect older people or are younger people also susceptible?

    The new coronavirus can infect people of all ages (2019-nCoV). Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) seem to be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take measures to protect themselves from the virus, for example, by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
  14. Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

    No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only 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 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial coinfection is possible.
  15. Are there specific medications to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

    To date, there is no specific drug recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, people infected with the virus should receive adequate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and people with serious illnesses should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

Source: WHO