With Novel coronavirus spreading across the globe came with lots of myths and facts and theories about symptoms of the virus. Runny nose, fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting etc. With lot of speculations on social media and incompetent news agencies misleading information floated creating false fear. Hence this article is about debunking 17 such myths we found doing rounds in social media.
# Myth: Coronavirus is not dangerous than seasonal flu.
Symptoms of corona virus is no more worse than seasonal flu. The mortality rate in seasonal flu is higher, less than 1% of infected by seasonal flu are killed whereas WHO confirmed the death percentage of more than 3.4% for those of Covid-19 patients, comparatively.
# Myth: Corona-virus is only infecting older people, younger and kids are safe.
The mortality rate of people with increasing age increases in Covid-19. It ranges from 0.2% – 0.4% between the age 0 – 49 years. It peaks at 14.8% among people with age of 80+ years. While it is true that older age people are getting infected more readily. It is not true that Covid-19 isn’t infecting younger people. Moreover, some serious respiratory problems are being caused irrespective of age or health conditions. People with certain conditions are more susceptible to getting infected. Such as health-care workers, family members of infected patients are more vulnerable to Covid-19. Symptoms should be immediately reported and quarantine must be followed strictly to avoid spreading the infection.
# Myth: Face Mask is important.
This is partly true. The Covid-19 can enter through eyes. The aerosols are tiny droplets which can penetrate the mask easily. However wearing masks can help you protect from immediate coughing and sneezing by people around or near you.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two kinds of people to wear face mask mandatory.
- Patients – Those who have symptoms or suffering from infection.
- Health Care Workers – Health care workers or social workers who are more open to infected quarters. And work closely towards the infected must wear masks.
This kind of recommendations were made to cut the extreme shortage of masks to the ones in need.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has said that people who are not healthcare providers and don’t know how to wear face masks properly tend to touch their faces more, which can actually increase the spread of coronavirus.
# Myth: For spread of infection from one person to another you need to be around for 10 minutes.
Medical Guidelines suggest that in order to get infected from one person to another you have to be in the range of six feet, for ten minutes. But you can contract the infection in shorter spans too. Also from contaminated surfaces you can pick Covid-19.
# Myth: Vaccine will be ready.
Though vaccine is being developed and experimented on animals and model samples, it is going to take time to be experimented on top spots on human level and making it commercially available for all. I am not trying to make wrong assumptions but if we get the vaccine available within a year it will be quicker. The best way is to stay home as much as you can and stay safe.
# Myth: Home remedies/ cures can prevent and heal Covid-19.
Some of the home remedies surely can boost your immunity, but in no way it can cure or heal corona virus. One such claim is doing rounds in social media is that covering your body in sesame oil, chlorine or alcohol can kill the virus. Which is not true. You guys should not involve in such stupid acts.
You may use chemical disinfectants like chloroform, bleach, per-acetic acid, ether solvents, and 75% ethanol to kill the virus on other surfaces. But, do not, under any circumstances, apply them to your body. It will not only not kill the virus already inside your body but can also be extremely dangerous. One way to protect yourself is by staying away from infected person.
# Myth: People infected with Covid-19 will die.
The mortality rate is 3.4% which will increase with time. The death reported on Covid-19 is rare. Recovery rates are higher. So there is nothing to fear about dying. However, it can cause serious respiratory conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis in the elderly, small children, and people with weakened immune systems.
Since thousands of cases have been reported and the virus is continuing to spread, even a 3% mortality rate is a cause for concern.
# Myth: Covid-19 can not live in Hot climate.
The US president Donald Trump claimed that the virus will die in hot climate. According to health experts such claim was nonsense as there isn’t enough evidence on the behavioral pattern of the novel virus. And there is no way that heat can kill it.
# Myth: Pneumonia Vaccine can protect you.
No, pneumonia vaccines like pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine do not work on coronavirus. A vaccine for this extremely new virus is currently being developed.
# Myth: Saline water rinse in nose will prevent Coronavirus.
There is no experimental proof clinically approved that rinsing your nose with saline water will prevent the Covid-19. Moreover you must wash your hands before touching your nose.
# Myth: Antibiotics can prevent and cure Covid-19.
Antibiotics can only cure bacterial infection and not viral. However, patients must be administered with antibiotics if co-infected with bacterial infections.
# Myth: Corona-virus is man-made.
Believing any news which is popular in social media that Coronavirus is created, as to be used as bioweapon. It was originated in China lab and was leaked on purpose the counter-argument on Chinese social media is that it was released by the US. Scientists on both sides have dismissed theories.. Lots of conspiracy theories are surfacing but it is probably originated originated in bats and jumped to another host before moving on to humans, just like SARS in 2003.
# Myth: Hand-dryers can kill Coronavirus.
Well, hand-dryers are designed to blow warm air, to dry out your wet hand, it is not designed to kill micro-organisms from your body/ hands. In-fact, hand dryers work as counter-productive, as they suck up the microbes in from hand and spreads it into room further endangering others who will enter the area. Suppose someone sneezes using hands for covering and then water rinses and dries up using hand-dryers. The microbes present in saliva and water droplets are sucked up by hand-dryers and then diffused into the area where they are installed.
# Myth: UV disinfection lamp can kill the Covid-19 virus.
While this myth is technically true, using UV lights on your skin can cause irritations.
# Myth: Thermal scanners can detect people with Covid-19.
Thermal scanners were used to detect rise in temperature due to fever. Covid-19 causes fever which may not develop instantly. It takes 2- 10 days for fever to pop.
# Myth: Receiving packages/letters from China will cause Corona virus.
Corona virus can not sustain long on any object surface including letters/ packages.
# Myth: Pets can spread corona virus.
Presently no evidence is available that pets are causing the spread of novel corona virus. But prevention is always better, so wash your hands after touching them as added benefits.
While this virus outbreak is serious it is very important to educate and protect yourself without getting influenced by any nonsense information circulating through Whatsapp and social media. Until is for jokes purpose panicking and freaking will cause troubles.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Q. How long does a coronavirus infection last?
In a healthy individual, mild symptoms of a coronavirus infection may last just a few days. Recovery for people with other pre-existing health conditions may take weeks.
Q. How long is coronavirus contagious?
According to the CDC and WHO, the incubation period of coronavirus in the body is between 1 and 14 days. People usually start showing symptoms by day 5 or 6. A study conducted in China suggests that it could also last as long as 24 days. Coronavirus is said to be contagious during this incubation period, especially when the infected person is showing symptoms. But cases of it spreading through asymptomatic (infected but not yet sick) individuals have also been reported.
Q. How long does coronavirus last on objects?
At room temperature, the new (human) coronavirus can remain infectious on inanimate objects and surfaces for up to 9 days. Their lifespan shortens at temperatures above 30°C (86°F).
Q. Can coronavirus spread through objects?
Yes, coronavirus can spread through objects if you touch an infected object, then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without washing your hands. However, this is said to not be the main way that it spreads.
Q. Can coronavirus spread through air?
Droplets of saliva and mucus from an infected person’s cough or sneeze can be carried up to 6 feet. However, experts do not believe coronavirus is an airborne (circulated through air) virus like measles.
Q. Can coronavirus spread through food?
The US Food and Drug Authority has released a statement that coronavirus can be transmitted through food or food packaging. However, people who handle and prepare food should follow proper hygiene practices (wash hands, avoid sneezing/coughing on food, separate raw meat from other ingredients, cook foods to the right temperature) to minimize the risk.