Coronavirus Myth Busting by the WHO
The world has changed for everyone and we are all adjusting to the new normal. Some of us are staying at home as much as possible, doing our part to keep our families safe. Some of us are going to work each day and doing our part to keep our essential services going. To help keep everyone focused, we are sharing this list published by the World Health Organization regarding some rumors and myths around the coronavirus COVID-19.
- 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19
- Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. Touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, mouth or nose can also transmit the disease.
- The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
- To date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
- Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
- The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) can infect people of all ages. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
- WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
- Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
- The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19.
- Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
- There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.
- Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
- Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you.
Prevention with Food
- Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
- Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.
- Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
- Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, no evidence from the current outbreak eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
Prevention with Medicine
- Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
- No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not protect against the new coronavirus.
- This virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.
- Vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health, although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV.
- Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
- No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
- The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
- However, you may receive antibiotics if hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV as bacterial co-infection is possible.
- Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
- To date, the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) does not have a specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the virus.
- However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.
Detection and Treatment
- You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.
- Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
- How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
- Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.
- Thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with a fever, however. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
- Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness, and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus-producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
- Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
- No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. You should dry clean hands with paper town or a warm air dryer.
- Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
- No, plus hands and other areas of skin can become irritated by UV radiation.
- Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
- No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
- Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
- No. No evidence regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
- There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. Rinsing the nose has not prevented respiratory infections, however.
The WHO says:
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.