Coronavirus or Covid-19 has swept through the whole world affecting more than 700,000 people as of now. There is a huge amount of information doing the rounds, as is common during such an outbreak. Some of the information is useful, and some downright misleading. Check out some of the myths such as does beer cure Coronavirus and others:
Popular Coronavirus myths
1. Beer cures coronavirus
Well, definitely a myth. Beer might make it easy to stay confined in your home during the lockdown or quarantine, but it is not a virus killer for sure! So, swilling down beer will neither protect you from coronavirus nor cure it.
2. The vaccine for Covid-19 is available
This is one of the stories that are being floated on social media. When discussing the Coronavirus myths vs facts, this is a complete myth as there is no vaccine that is available as yet. Scientists have started to work on a vaccine, but it will take a long time to produce on a mass scale. So, there is no coronavirus vaccine that is available right now.
3. You can protect yourself by gargling
One of the popular Covid-19 myths is that you can protect yourself by gargling with various substances such as bleach, acetic acid, salt and water and so on. Some of these substances are downright dangerous and should be completely avoided. Bleach is recommended to clean surfaces, but not to drink or gargle. So gargling, even with hot water and salt will not protect from Covid-19.
4. Coronavirus was deliberately created and released
Coronavirus was not deliberately created and released, as many conspiracy theorists claim. The origin of this virus is not known as yet, but sometimes a virus which is common in some animals, and are harmless to them, might mutate and jump to humans. This is most likely how the coronavirus passed on to humans, but there is no confirmation of this as yet as well. So, this is one of the Coronavirus myths which is clear that it is not a fact at all.
5. Covid-19 is transmitted in hot and humid climates/cold climates only
The truth is that Covid-19 does not seem to be affected by temperature. It can be transmitted in all the areas, irrespective of the heat and cold and humidity. It has not been stopped by the climate, but has been slowed down by social distancing, and washing hands frequently with soap and water. Cleaning your hands would eliminate the viruses that might be present on your hands. Refrain from touching your face, nose, mouth and eyes with your hands to stop infection.
Staying at home and maintaining distance with people who might have been exposed to the virus is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your near and dear ones. So, the news that Covid-19 spreads in hot and humid climates or in cold climates only is one of the popular Covid-19 myths which is confusing people.
6. Hot baths will prevent coronavirus
Taking hot baths has many therapeutic effects, but it is not going to protect you from the virus. It will keep you clean, but taking too many hot baths might turn out to be harmful for your body, as it can end up burning you. Your body is anyway covered with clothes so the virus cannot permeate through this layer of clothing. All you can do is wash your hands which might have picked up the virus from somewhere. Changing your clothes and washing might be more effective, rather than taking a hot bath. This is one of the myths to ignore too.
7. Ordering/buying products from China will make you sick
According to researchers who are studying the virus, the virus cannot stay alive for a long time on surfaces. Therefore, if you order anything from China or anywhere else, you would most likely not be infected through the package as it was in transit for quite a few days. The illness is transmitted by the respiratory droplets from infected people’s cough or sneeze, and through objects.
8. Hand dryers are effective in destroying the virus
This is far from the truth as hand dryers cannot destroy viruses at all. Just blowing hot air on your hands is not going to protect you. You have to clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol or wash them with soap and water to destroy the virus. After washing your hands, wipe them with paper towels or with dryer. But hand dryers are not effective by themselves, if you don’t wash your hands!
9. Coronavirus is transmitted through mosquitoes
Another of the myths to ignore is that the new Covid-19 virus can be spread by mosquito bites. This is a respiratory virus which spreads through the drops which fly out of an infected person’s mouth or nose when they cough or sneeze, or via the discharge from nose, or through the saliva drops.
So, killing all the pesky mosquitoes would help to stay safe from other mosquito borne diseases(which might have different symptoms), but is not the way to prevent coronavirus. As we cannot but repeat, stay away from any person who has a runny nose, and is coughing and sneezing.
10. Rinsing with saline will prevent infection
This is another myth that needs to be busted. Rinsing the nose with saline may be effective against the normal cold, but there is no evidence to suggest that doing this will protect you against Covid-19. Rinsing with the saline water is not a prevention for colds either, but some people find relief in doing that.
11. Pneumonia vaccine is effective against coronavirus
Pneumonia vaccines such as Hib or Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine are not effective against the novel Covid-19 virus.
The virus strain is completely different from any others that has ever been seen, so a completely new vaccine has to be developed for this virus. The WHO along with researchers from all over the globe are working round the clock to develop a vaccine which can save many lives.
12. Ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the new virus
This myth is a dangerous one as it can seriously damage your skin. UV lamps should never be used for sterilizing hands or other parts of the body, as the UV radiation might cause skin irritation.
13. Only older people are susceptible
Older people with other underlying conditions (such as heart disease, kidney disease and asthma) have suffered the most in this pandemic. This has led to a mistaken belief that only older people are infected by the virus.
In fact, people belonging to all ages, can be infected by the virus, even young people. Children have also been infected, but in children it seems to be mild. WHO has advised all people to be careful and follow the correct hygiene guidelines.
14. Spraying chlorine or alcohol over the body will kill the virus
Spraying chlorine or alcohol all over the body or family member’s body is not effective against viruses which have entered the body. Spraying substances such as these on the body may end up damaging clothes and skin, or the mucous membranes (of the eyes and mouth).
Both chlorine and alcohol are used for the disinfection of surfaces, but they have to be used according to the specified amounts.
15. Eating garlic will prevent infection
Garlic is known to have antimicrobial properties, and it is good to include garlic in your diet. However, WHO or any other scientific organization has not suggested or recommended garlic either as prevention or protection against Covid-19.
16. You can catch the virus in 10 minutes or more
There is no time frame in which you can catch the virus – it can happen in an instant, and in less than 10 minutes. The longer the exposure to someone with the virus does increase the chances of getting the infection.
17. Antibiotics can treat coronavirus
Antibiotics cannot treat coronavirus as they are used only to treat bacterial infections. The new Covid-19 is a virus, so antibiotics are not used. But doctors can prescribe antibiotics to a person suffering from coronavirus, to prevent a bacterial co-infection, especially if the person is hospitalized.
18. Thermal detectors can detect people with coronavirus
Thermal scanners are used to detect whether someone has a fever or a higher than the normal body temp., due to infection of any kind, bacterial or viral. But thermal scanners cannot detect people infected who have not shown the symptom of fever, as it usually takes 2 to 10 days for fever to develop. Besides, apart from coronavirus, fever could be due to several reasons, and a person with fever need not necessarily have the virus. But still, it is wise to visit the doctor and get checked if you develop fever.
19. Covid-19 is just another flu
The SARS-Covid 2 or Covid-19 or coronavirus is an illness which has influenza like symptoms, such as fever, cough, aches and so on. Both flu and coronavirus can be severe and mild, and both might lead to pneumonia. But the difference between the virus and the flu is that it has much higher mortality rate, between 1 and 3 percent.
Taking precautions, washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance can help to protect you from coronavirus. Most of the cases are mild, but scientists are unable to predict the profile of people who would suffer a mild or severe infection. So, staying home and limiting exposure can help to break the virus strains and keep you healthy as well!