What Is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad family of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold and more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), discovered in 2019, has common respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Preventive measures to avoid coronavirus include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
With the outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus, it isn’t surprising that there are increasing cases of panic. There have been inaccurate bits of information about coronavirus and how to prevent/cure it. This, to a large extent, has worsened the panic. To sieve through the overwhelmingly vast amount of information on coronavirus, we have debunked some of the popular myths in this article. Take a look!
17 Coronavirus Myths Debunked!
Myth 1: You need to wear a face mask.
Not many people know that aerosols (tiny virus particles) can penetrate face masks. However, an advantage of face masks is that they can block the droplets from someone coughing or sneezing nearby.
In all this, one important thing to note is that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there are only two groups of people who need to wear face masks — patients and caregivers. Patients should wear them to prevent spreading it to others, while caregivers such as healthcare and social workers who spend some time caring for patients should wear face masks to protect themselves from infection.
Myth 2: Coronavirus only kills older people, so younger people don`t need to worry.
Certainly, the mortality rate of COVID-19 increases with age. Its range is 0.2 to 0.4% for people of ages 0 to 49 and increases to 14.8% among people who are 80 and above. It is undeniably true that older people and others with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to the disease, however, anyone of any age can be infected. It is also important to note that there are certain people who are more susceptible to coronavirus than others — healthcare workers, family members, and caregivers of infected people who get in close contact with them fall in this category, notwithstanding the age.
Myth 3: Coronavirus is not more dangerous than the seasonal flu.
Despite having the same symptoms as the seasonal flu, the mortality rate of coronavirus is higher. The seasonal flu claims less than 1% of the lives of people infected, however, the WHO, as of March 4, 2020, confirmed that globally, 3.4% of the reported COVID-19 patients had died. So you definitely need to take the flu-like symptoms seriously, without panicking.
Myth 4: You need to be around an infected person for 10 minutes to get infected.
There have been medical guidelines stating that one can only get infected when within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for at least 10 minutes. This is not true. People have got infected by coronavirus through shorter interactions. People can also get infected from touching contaminated surfaces. To avoid getting infected, wash and sanitize your hands as often as possible.
Myth 5: Hot climates can kill coronavirus.
There have been speculations that coronavirus cannot survive in hotter temperatures. Public health experts have maintained a position that there isn’t adequate enough information on this.
Myth 6: Home remedies can prevent and cure coronavirus.
There have been loads of prescribed home remedies to combat coronavirus. Virtually all of the items mentioned for the home remedy will not cure or protect anyone from coronavirus. So whether it’s water, ginger, sesame oil, or whatever else, none of these is as effective as preventive measures of regular handwashing, hand sanitizing, and social distancing.
Myth 7: People who get infected by coronavirus will die.
The mortality rate of coronavirus is expected to reduce as time passes. There have been fewer reports of death cases, and the number will keep reducing. This does not rule out the fact that the death cases aren’t a cause of concern. The ultimate way to reduce the spread of the virus and eventually stop it is adhering to preventive measures.
Myth 8: A vaccine will be ready within a few months.
There have been reports of a coronavirus vaccine being developed, however, preparing a vaccine for such a virus isn’t as easy as it sounds. It may take much longer than people sound, so it is advisable to take precautions in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
Myth 9: Pneumonia vaccines can protect you from coronavirus.
This is clearly false. Pneumonia vaccines don’t have any effect on coronavirus. The vaccine for combating coronavirus is still being developed.
Myth 10: Hand dryers can kill coronavirus.
This is not true. Hand dryers only blow out warm air, but don’t kill any microorganisms. What they do is to suck up the microbes and circulate them around the room. So if a coronavirus-infected person coughs or sneezes in the bathroom, the hand dryer sucks up the saliva and mucus droplets and spreads them across the room. So hand dryers actually aid the spread of the virus. Wash your hands with soap and water, and wipe them thoroughly with a paper towel, or use a hand sanitizer if you don’t get to wash your hands.
Myth 11: Antibiotics can prevent and treat coronavirus.
Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, they work against bacteria. People who test positive for coronavirus and undergo treatment may be administered antibiotics if they have a bacterial co-infection.
Myth 12: Coronavirus is man-made.
Please have made up many rumors on the origin of coronavirus. While some claim that a bioweapon being developed in a Chinese lab leaked, others believe that US scientists are responsible for it. The exact origin of coronavirus remains unknown.
Myth 13: Rinsing your nose regularly with saline can prevent coronavirus infection.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence for this. Just ensure that you always wash your hands before touching or cleaning your nose.
Myth 14: Pets can spread coronavirus.
There`s no scientific evidence that animals like dogs and cats can get infected by coronavirus. Regardless, wash your hands with soap and water after touching your pets as a precautionary measure.
Myth 15: Thermal scanners can detect people infected by coronavirus.
Thermal scanners can detect who has a fever, however, they cannot detect coronavirus if the person has not developed a fever yet. It takes 2-10 days for an infected person to fall sick and develop a fever.
Myth 16: You can get infected by coronavirus through a letter/package from China.
This is not true. Coronavirus cannot survive for long on any object, including letters and packages from anywhere in the world.
Myth 17: An ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill coronavirus.
Technically, this is true, however, it may cause other complications such as skin irritation, among other challenges. Never use a UV lamp on any part of your body.
Now that you Know…
Despite the severeness of the coronavirus outbreak, staying calm and informed, alongside taking hygiene precautions are all that you need to be fine. Avoid panicking, as that will only make you and everyone else around you anxious.