As the novel Coronavirus continues to infect people around the world, news articles and social media posts about the outbreak continue to spread online. And unfortunately, this wild flood of information makes it difficult to distinguish facts from fiction. Sadly, because rumors and misinformation can be dangerous… Here is a list of the most common myths about coronavirus.
MASK CAN PROTECT YOU FROM THE VIRUS : NOT COMPLETELY
Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from coronavirus, as they are not designed to block out viral particles. However, they can help prevent infected people from spreading the virus further by blocking droplets that could be expelled from their mouths and noses. Face masks should be worn by people who have COVID19 and are showing symptoms, to protect others from the risks of being infected.
YOU ARE WAY LESS LIKELY TO GET CORONAVIRUS THAN THE FLU: NOT NECESSARILY
It has been estimated by scientist that one single infected person with coronavirus will infect about 2.2 others on average. By comparison, the regular flu is 1.3.
CORONAVIRUS IS JUST A MUTATED FORM OF THE COMMON COLD: NOT TRUE
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that include many diseases. COVID19 shares similarities with the common cold. However, we already know that is passed through an intermediate animal before infecting humans.
BEING INFECTED WITH COVID19 IS A DEATH SENTENCE: NOT TRUE
About 81% of people who are infected with the coronavirus have mild cases of COVID19. About 13.8% have reported severe illness, with shortness of breath requiring supplemental oxygen, and about 4.7% are critical, meaning they face respiratory failure, organ failure or septic shock. So far, the data suggests that around 2.4$% of people infected die from the virus. Most probably because they are older or have an underlying health condition.
PETS CAN SPREAD THE NEW CORONAVIRUS: PROBABLY NOT TO HUMANS
Though there has been a confirmed case of one dog in China that contracted a low-level infection from its owner with a case of COVID19, there is no evidence that suggests that animal could infect humans. However, as a precaution, people with COVID19 should have someone else walk and care for their animals, and people should always wash their hands after snuggling with animals, as pets can spread other diseases to people.
KIDS CAN’T CATCH THE CORONAVIRUS: NOT TRUE
Though initial reports suggested that only 2.2% of cases involved children under age 18, most recently, it was estimated that it is about 8% of children that test positive for the virus. However, it is true that when children become infected, they seem less likely to develop severe disease.
IF YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS, “YOU’LL KNOW”: NO, YOU WON’T !
COVID19 causes a wide range of symptoms, many of which appear in other illnesses such as the common flu or the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing. Rarer symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a runny nose. In severe cases, it can progress into a serious pneumonia-like illness. However, early on, infected people may have no symptoms at all !
CORONAVIRUS IS LESS DEADLY THAN THE COMMON FLU: NOT TRUE
If initially it appeared so, norm coronavirus appears to be more deadly than the flu. Recent data suggests that COVID19 has a mortality rate 20 times higher than the flu. Of course, death rate varies according to factors such as location and individual’s age. We should also keep in mind that there could be many mild or asymptomatic cases that weren’t counted.
VITAMIN C WILL STOP YOU FROM CATCHING COVID19: WE DON’T KNOW
So far, there has been no evidence that Vit C supplements can render people immune to COVID19 infection. That said, Vit C serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function. So yes, Vit C should be included in your daily diet. But mega-dosing is unlikely to lower your risks of catching something.
IT IS NOT SAFE TO RECEIVE A PACKAGE FROM CHINA: NOT TRUE
According to the WHO, it is safe to receive packages from China. Experts think this new coronavirus likely survives poorly on surfaces present in packaging. For a virus ot remain viable, it needs a combination of specific environmental conditions such as temperature, lack of UV exposure and humidity. If your think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with soap and water.
Sources: CDC, WHO, CNN