Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 is a new virus which causes respiratory illness.
Disproving the myths on coronavirus
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 is a new virus which causes respiratory illness. This virus is highly contagious and spreads through droplets of saliva, from person to person. To prevent the spread of infection, one should maintain good hygiene such as regularly washing your hands. Droplets from coughing and sneezing can travel up to 1 metre in the air, therefore it is important to keep social distancing practices.
Currently, no proven vaccinations or treatments are available for COVID-19. The symptoms of the virus include fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing, and can affect your lungs and airways (WHO, 2020). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment (WHO, 2020).
As the lethal coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, so does misinformation. Here are some misconceptions about COVID-19 that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has addressed with facts everyone should stay informed.
1. 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19.
COVID-19 is transmitted through the respiratory droplets when a person who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. Persons can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then by touching their eyes, mouth or nose. To avoid the spread, it’s best to wear a face mask, such as PrimeOn Artemis or Athena, to prevent droplets from touching others. Wash your hands regularly and also wipe away your digital devices, such as your mobile phone.
2. Catching coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.
You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The majority of people who catch COVID-19 will heal and remove the virus from their bodies. If you have the disease, see to it that you treat the symptoms. When you have a cough, nausea, and breathing problems, seek medical treatment early-please call your health care facility first. The majority of patients do recover thanks to supportive care.
3. Ability to hold your breath without coughing or feeling pain for 10 seconds or more DOES NOT mean you are free from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.
COVID-19’s most common symptoms are dry cough, fatigue, and fevers. Some people may experience more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The easiest way to determine whether you have the COVID-19 virus is through a lab check. You cannot confirm it with this breathing test. It is dangerous to do so.
4. Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.
There has been no supportive evidence which states that drinking alcohol can kill the coronavirus. Excessive drinking can lead to other health issues.
5. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
NO. Slathering alcohol or chlorine on your body will not destroy viruses that are already inside your body. These substances can damage clothing or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be mindful that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful for disinfecting surfaces but should be used as prescribed. For information on how to properly use alcohol-based hand rubs, please see our hand washing guide with hand sanitiser.
6. Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures above 25°C degrees DOES NOT prevent coronavirus disease.
Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures above 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent coronavirus disease. You could catch COVID-19 however sunny or hot the weather may be. Countries with hot weather have had COVID-19 cases recorded. Be sure to clean your hands regularly and thoroughly to protect yourself, and avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose.
7. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates.
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, you should adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. For instance, using social distance practices to keep you and others around you at least 1.5 metres apart (two arm’s length). The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. See our hand washing guide on how to do this properly. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
8. Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
There is no reason to think that the new coronavirus can be destroyed by cold weather. Normal human body temperatures remain at around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub such as PrimeOn Hand Sanitiser or washing them with soap using PrimeOn Hand Wash and water.
9. Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease.
The natural body temperature stays at about 36.5°C to 37°C, whatever the bath or shower temperature. In fact, it can be dangerous to take a hot bath with extremely hot water, because it can burn you. A high enough body temperature to kill the virus would also be lethal to humans. The easiest way to defend against COVID-19 is by washing your hands regularly. In doing so, you remove viruses that might be on your hands, and prevent infection that may occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
10. Mosquito bites do not transmit the new coronavirus.
To date there has been no information or data indicating that mosquitoes could spread the new coronavirus. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that primarily spreads through droplets that are produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or nose discharge. To protect yourself, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands regularly with PrimeOn Hand Sanitiser or wash them with PrimeOn Hand Wash and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing through social distancing.
11. Hand Dryers cannot kill coronavirus effectively.
Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV (COVID-19). To protect yourself against COVID-19, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
(Source: WHO 2020)
12. Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilise hands or other skin areas because UV radiation can cause irritation of the skin.
13. Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against COVID-19?
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against COVID-19. This virus is novel and distinct that requires its own vaccine antidote.
14. Regularly rinsing your nose with saline will NOT prevent infection with coronavirus.
There is no indication that daily rinsing of the nose with saline has prevented people from acquiring a nCOVID-19 infection. There’s some small evidence that frequent nose rinsing with saline can help people recover from the common cold faster. However, daily nose rinsing has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
15. Eating garlic cannot help prevent infection with COVID-19.
Garlic is a natural food with some antimicrobial properties. There is no evidence from the latest outbreak, though, that consuming garlic has saved people against COVID-19.
16. Can antibiotics prevent and treat the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as prevention or treatment measures. Nevertheless, if you are treated for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics, as co-infection with bacteria is likely.
17. Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
Currently, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19. However, anyone diagnosed with the virus should be given enough treatment to alleviate and manage symptoms, and those with serious illness should receive personalised help. Several therapies are under review, and clinical trials may be used to test them.
18. Is it safe to receive a package from China?
From previous research, scientists believe that the virus cannot survive on letters or packages for an extended period of time.
The CDC explain that “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”
19. Are thermal scanners effective in detecting infected Coronavirus cases?
Thermal scanners can detect whether or not someone has a fever. However, other conditions, such as seasonal flu, can also produce a fever. In addition, symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2–14 days after infection, which means that someone who has the virus could have a normal temperature for a few days before a fever begins.
20. Adding pepper to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19.
Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least 1 metre away from others and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well.
21. Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.
Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes. (Read More on skin reactions) Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.
22. Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous.
Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs. To protect yourself against COVID-19, disinfect objects and surfaces, especially the ones you touch regularly. You can use diluted bleach or alcohol for that. Make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
23. There are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death.
World Health Organization. (2020). Myths Busted. Retrieved April 17, 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters