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Coronavirus: Myths, Rumours and True Facts

myths and rumours vs. facts on coronavirus / covid-19
Dashamlav | 24 March 2020 (अंतिम बदलाव: 22 September 2020)

With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, people have been coming up with their own theories on the precaution, prevention and treatment of this infectious disease. There many myths about coronavirus / COVID-19 which are continuously circulating in the virtual space and social media platforms. However, it is very important that we only rely on authentic information. Dashamlav has clarified some myths related to COVID-19 and coronavirus in our effort to provide reliable information. Have a look!

Myth 1: COVID-19 virus will die out automatically in summer

There has been no evidence so far which confirms that COVID-19 virus will automatically die out in hot and humid temperatures. Scientists and experts are yet to find out the effect of temperature change on COVID-19.

Myth 2: Washing hands with warm water without soap will kill the coronavirus

It is not the temperature of the water but the contents of soap or hand-wash which prevents COVID-19. Yes, you heard that right! You may take a pro-active step and use soap as well as warm water for prevention purpose. However, only warm water has no effect on coronavirus.

Myth 3: Coronavirus is a biological weapon

Some people are constantly alleging China for deliberately developing coronavirus in the laboratory. However, the evidence suggests that just like other coronaviruses like SARS-CoV & MERS-CoV, it is likely that the virus of the current pandemic also originated from bats. It is likely that COVID-19 has naturally occurred and made the shift from animals to people.

myths and rumors vs. facts on coronavirus / covid-19

Myth 4: Mosquito bite can transmit COVID-19 virus

One needs to understand that the transmission in the case of COVID-19 is through airborne droplets and not through blood. Hence, mosquito bites can not transmit COVID-19 coronavirus. No evidence so far suggest that mosquito plays role of a vector in COVID-19.

Myth 5: By drinking alcohol, one can prevent infection of COVID-19 virus

You may have come across some social media posts / memes which claim that drinking alcohol, vodka in particular, can prevent coronavirus. This is a false and health risking claim. Evidence suggests that drinking alcohol can actually weaken your immunity to fight against the viral infection. In fact, it significantly increased the risk of pneumonia.

Myth 6: Antibiotics can be helpful in treating COVID-19 virus

Antibiotics are medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. This is the reason they are also called anti-bacterial. However, these are not effective on COVID-19 as it’s a coronavirus. Antibiotics are neither used for prevention nor for the treatment of COVID-19. The antibiotics are though administered to some patients along with other medicines if he/she has any bacterial co-infection.

Myth 7: Home-made hand sanitizers are effective against coronavirus

A big no to this one! Fighting COVID-19 requires regular hand wash but shortages of hand-sanitizers and hand-wash have led some people to look into making the liquid at home. However, pharmacists have issued caution against the home-made sanitizers. The issue with making the hand sanitizer at your house is the ratio of the components, and getting those ratios correct. Hence, we advise not to go for any home-made sanitizers as it will not protect you from the potential dangers of COVID-19.

Myth 8: Only old-age people with coronavirus infection have a potential risk of death

This is not true. People in their old are more vulnerable because they are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions. No age group has any immunity against COVID-19. Hence, no one should take this disease lightly. There are many pieces of evidence which show that coronavirus has severely impacted younger people.

Myth 9: Home remedies can treat COVID-19

Home-made remedies are often used to treat common health-related issues. However, there are no scientifically proven DIY home-made remedies to treat COVID-19. People should not fall in the trap of such false claims.

Myth 10: Thermal Scanner can diagnosis COVID-19

Thermal scanners are in common use at different places for scanning the body temperature cannot diagnose COVID-19. These scanners only provides information about the body temperature. Rise in body temperature or high fever is one of the primary symptoms of COVID-19. A person having identified with fever or higher body temperature has to undergo proper medical diagnosis to confirm or discard the possibility of COVID-19. A thermal scanner cannot diagnose COVID-19.

Myth 11: Parcels from China can transmit coronavirus

Many queries and concerns have been raised by people all across the world about receiving parcels shipped from China. World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that one need not worry in this regard. During the shipment, the temperature of the air surrounding the packages is not conducive to virus viability. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the survivability of the coronavirus on surfaces is comparatively poorer. Thus, the risk of spread through the parcels that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures are very low. We recommend that as a precautionary measure, it would be a good idea to sanitize the parcels on receiving it. Right after opening the parcel, the receiver should also wash his/her hands as recommended by WHO.

Myth 12: Coronavirus is the deadliest virus in history

While COVID-19 outbreak is affecting our daily lives like never before but it is not the deadliest virus in history. Many more disease causing viruses have been more fatal to humans. As per the information provided by WHO, the mortality rate of COVID-19 is 3.4 %. On the other hand, the average fatality rate in case of Ebola virus is around 50% as per WHO.

Myth 13: Drinking cow urine will prevent coronavirus infection

India is also amidst coronavirus epidemic with new cases are being reported every day. Some Hindu groups in India have emphasized on the medicinal properties of cow-urine. No reliable evidence substantiate these claims for treatment of COVID-19. Thus, it is better to practice the recommendations from reliable sources like World Health Organization (WHO) and the national government.

Myth 14: Holding your breath will diagnose COVID-19

The claim is that holding your breath for more than 10 seconds without any discomfort can diagnose COVID-19. The claims assert that holding your breath for a significant time confirms that there exists no fibroids or scarring of lungs, so basically no infection! However, holding your breath is not a test of fibrosis and fibrosis is not among COVID-19 symptoms. So beware of discarding the possibility of COVID-19 infection without a proper diagnosis.

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