Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Facts & Myths to Help You Stay Safe

Social media and other platforms powered by the internet have given COVID-19 international exposure, and there is a lot of information about the virus that has been making rounds. With so many sources of news, it can become difficult to differentiate between credible and false data. The most trustworthy and official source for updates is the official website of the WHO.

This article aims at differentiating the various facts and myths that have been circulating through multiple outlets of the internet ranging from facts about the virus to prevention steps you should be taking. Read on to attain a better understanding of what to believe and what not to believe about COVID-19.

MYTH

COVID-19 Cannot Survive Extreme Weather Conditions

Fact:

Irrespective of the weather, you can catch COVID-19. No matter how sunny or hot, humid or cold, the weather is, there is no reason to believe that the virus cannot be transmitted. Countries with warm weather have reported cases of COVID-19. From the evidence so far, this virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS regardless of the climate.

The average human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, irrespective of the external temperature or weather. Hence exposing your body to extreme weather conditions will not protect you from the virus.

MYTH

You Cannot Recover From COVID-19

Fact:

Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. Seniors and people suffering from pre-existing health issues are the most vulnerable and need to be extra careful. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early, and treat your symptoms. Call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover through appropriate supportive care.

MYTH

Mosquitoes Can Transmit the Virus

Fact:

Till date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that mosquitoes can transmit the new coronavirus. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus, and its primary means of spread is through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, through droplets of saliva and discharge from the nose, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

MYTH

Only Older People Can Get Affected

Fact:

People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19, older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. It is advised for all age groups to observe social distancing and remain at home until the end of the quarantine period mentioned by the government.

MYTH

Consuming Alcohol, Hot Baths, Hand Dryers, UV Disinfection Lamps, and Vaccines Against Pneumonia Can Kill the Virus.

Fact:

None of the above-mentioned methods have solid scientific proof and can even be harmful to your body. The vaccines developed against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, are ineffective against the new coronavirus, and a separate vaccine needs to be developed. Researchers are trying to formulate a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is backing their efforts.

Both alcohol and chlorine are useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations and shouldn't be applied directly to your skin or clothes. UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as its radiations can cause skin irritation. At the moment, the best methods to fight COVID-19 are strictly abiding by social distancing policies and to follow adequate hygiene practices.

MYTH

Holding Your Breath for 10 Seconds or Longer Without Coughing or Feeling Discomfort Means You Are Free From COVID-19

Fact:

There are no conclusive tests, yet that can confirm whether you have the virus. If you have symptoms like cold, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care immediately. The best way to verify if you have the COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. Be sure to wear a mask if you are showing these symptoms to avoid further spreading the disease. You can buy masks recommended by the WHO at the given link.

COVID-19 is a new and rampant virus that has taken the world by surprise. Believing and spreading the myths that surround the virus will make the fight against it much more difficult. Gather information from credible sources like the WHO and educate the people around you about the importance of spreading the right information.

Our best hope to fight COVID-19 remains to be stringent social distancing policies and healthy hygiene practices. Stay home, stay informed, and play your role as a responsible citizen in the fight against this new pandemic.