SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – The COVID-19 outbreak is a global pandemic, and with that comes a lot of false information on the internet.
There are many myths about COVID-19 that have been circulating through social media. Here are some of the most common ones, according to the World Health Organization.
1.) Cold weather kills novel coronavirus
Truth: The CDC and the WHO say the most effective way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is with frequent handwashing with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. The WHO says there is “no reason to believe cold weather can kill the new coronavirus,” or other diseases, for that matter.
2.) Hotter, more humid climates block COVID-19
Truth: Take protective measures, like proper handwashing and social distancing, no matter where you live. COVID-19 can be transmitted anywhere, regardless of how hot or humid the air is.
3.) Hot baths prevent COVID-19
Truth: This myth stems from the misconception that cold and hot temperatures can kill the virus. Just like the cold weather and hot and humid climate myths, this is not true. Your body temperature stays relatively stable even when you take an extremely hot bath. This just leaves you at risk for a burn. Still, the best way to prevent getting COVID-19 is to wash your hands often. This prevents viruses on your hands from infecting you when you touch your face.
4.) Mosquito bites transmit coronavirus
Truth: Temperatures warm as we dive into spring, and mosquitoes become more common, typically bringing a risk of Encephalitis and West Nile. Hwever, the increasing population of mosquitoes cannot give you COVID-19. From the WHO, “there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.” This is because the coronavirus spreads through droplets during sneezes or coughs. This is why social distancing and frequent hand washing is so important.
5.) Hand dryers kill the coronavirus
Truth: The heat from a hand dryer alone is not enough to kill the new coronavirus. However, in combination with washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, this method is very effective. You can also dry your hands after using paper towels, or instead use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
5.) UV lamps kill the coronavirus
Truth: While UV can kill the flu, it’s too soon to tell whether UV light is an effective way to kill the new coronavirus, and the World Health Organization does not suggest it. It should especially not be used on hands or your body as it can cause irritation.
7.) Thermal scanners detect infected people
Truth: Thermal scanners, like thermometers, can detect people with a higher-than-normal body temperature from COVID-19 infection. However, not everyone with the coronavirus has a fever. According to the WHO, “it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.”
8.)Alcohol and chlorine kill the coronavirus
Truth: This will not cure COVID-19 if it has already entered your body. Spraying alcohol and chlorine all over your body can be harmful if it gets into your eyes or mouth. The World Health Organization says they both can be used to disinfect surfaces, however.
9.) Pneumonia vaccine protects against COVID-19
Truth: The WHO says, “Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.” COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that requires its own vaccine, which is in the testing phase right now.
10.) Rinsing your nose and gargling with saline solution blocks COVID-19 infection
Truth: The World Health Organization says that while there is some evidence that regularly rinsing your nose with saline can help you get over the common cold more quickly, this does not apply to COVID-19 or other respiratory infections. Neither does gargling with a saline solution.
11.) Eating garlic prevent COVID-19 infections
Truth: There is no scientific evidence that eating garlic prevents you from being infected. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, it does have some antimicrobial properties.
12.) Coronavirus only affects older people
Truth: The World Health Organization says people of all ages must take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19. The best ways are frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer, and social distancing. However, people who are older are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with coronavirus. People with preexisting conditions are also at an increased risk for more severe complications, like people with heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
13.) Antibiotics prevent and treat COVID-19
Truth: Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. This myth may come from the fact that some hospitalized for coronavirus have received antibiotics, but that’s because bacterial “co-infections” are possible with COVID-19, according to the WHO. The antibiotic does not treat the virus.
14.) There are medicines to prevent and treat coronavirus
Truth: The World Health Organization is helping research treatments for coronavirus. However, any treatments are still being developed, and must be tested in clinical trials. There is currently no medication that prevents or treats COVID-19. Medication can relieve some symptoms, but severe symptoms require a medical professional.
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