Ever since the Corona virus began to spread outside China, many claims have been made regarding its infection, survival, surfaces, ways to kill it, etc. While some are true, most claims circulating on social media are false or misleading. Here is a list of such false claims and the facts about them.
1. Claim: Only older adults and young people are at risk of being infected from COVID-19
Fact: Covid-19, like other coronaviruses, can infect people of any age. However, older adults or individuals with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, are more likely to become severely ill.
2. Claim: Covid-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites
Fact: Covid-19 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. There has been no information or evidence to date to suggest that the new coronavirus can be transmitted by mosquitoes.
3. Claim: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body can kill the new coronavirus
Fact: 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).
4. Claim: Pneumonia vaccine will protect me against the Corona virus
Fact: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against Covid-19. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine, which researchers are currently working on trying to develop.
5. Claim: Avoid shipped packages/petrol stations/ATMs or you’ll die.
Fact: Coronavirus surface survival is one thing; that surface causing an infection is another. Wash your hands; live your life.
6. Claim: You can catch COVID-19 from ordering takeout food/Chinese food (or the packaging of food).
Fact: COVID-19 is a droplet related infection (like flu) not a food-borne infection (like salmonella etc.). There is no documented COVID risk with take-out food.
7. Claim: Going into a sauna or taking hot bath for 20 min can kill more than 90% of viruses, including coronavirus.
Fact: There are no scientific trials to suggest the validity of this claim. On the contrary, saunas can cause pneumonias, folliculitis, etc. Read: https://t.co/Cd84Yb4FaH?amp=1
8. Claim: If you lose your sense of smell, you have COVID.
Fact: It is common to temporarily lose one’s sense of smell with many viral infections/allergies. It’s a non-specific symptom that may or may not happen with COVID.
9. Claim: Taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin preemptively is a good idea to prevent COVID.
Fact: These (experimental) drugs for coronavirus should only be used in selected COVID patients. They can sometimes cause fatal heart rhythm problems plus other side effects.
10. Claim: I receive messages that using garlic/lemon with hot water/onion in the room will prevent or cure COVID-19. Is it true?
Fact: Though garlic can help in fighting common cold, none of these substances have been scientifically tested against COVID. Don’t share such posts; they create confusion.
11. Claim: Our state government has declared a lockdown. It must mean that most of us will be affected soon…
Fact: The lockdown is more of a administrative measure than a medical standard. It allows governments to access more resources (like central funds) and personnel (like the central security forces).
12. Claim: Always change your clothes/shower after coming home. Or you will bring coronavirus to your family.
Fact: Cleanliness is a virtue; paranoia isn’t. Let’s not scare people. Our biggest return on investment is in handwashing, staying 6 feet away, avoiding large crowds, etc.
13. Claim: But the messages I receive are from doctors in China/Italy. Why shouldn’t I believe them?
Fact: Real doctors publish their research in scientific journals, not on social media. Lots of good research is already published. Let’s not fuel misinformation.
14. Claim: Regularly rinsing nose with saline can help prevent infection from new coronavirus
Fact: There is no evidence that 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.