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Busting 16 Myths On Coronavirus: Facts Versus Fiction

To clarify the confusion about coronavirus or COVID 19, we have debunked the most popular myths of this virus

Myths and facts about COVID 19

In recent times, one of the biggest health crisis in the entire world is the spreadability of Coronavirus. It is hard to imagine that even a couple of months back we all were unknown of the mishap it could cause, which made the whole world rethink about health resources, scientific research etc. The communicability of COVID-19 is so dangerous that if one person gets affected by this virus, he can spread it massively amongst his community unknowingly. The main problem lies in the lack of proper information about this virus and its contagious form. Due to panic and overflowing of information from various resources, there has been a formation of myths inside our minds. Hence, these myths should be debunked so we follow the necessary precautions. That is why, we are here to debunk the most common myths regarding COVID-19. Take a look:

(Also read: COVID-19 Face Mask: 5 Mistakes You Need To Stop Making When Wearing A Mask)

Myths And Facts About Coronavirus Or COVID-19

Here are the 16 myths and debunking them with facts:

1. MYTH: COVID-19 infection results in lifetime disease or death.

FACT: This fact often creates panic among many. Acquiring the infection does not mean that you will have it for life. Although 3 out of 100 people die from the disease, but most people recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. Seeking early medical care when a person contracts respiratory symptoms or fever aids in early diagnosis and treatment, and prevents the spread of the disease.

2. MYTH: Coronavirus patients are always symptomatic.

FACT: Those who are infected by the COVID-19 do not always demonstrate symptoms of being infected. Social-distancing and maintaining proper hygiene practices is the best way to avert the infection.

3. MYTH: Wearing a mask will prevent COVID-19 infection.

FACT: Wearing a mask does not confer absolute protection against the disease. It aids in the prevention of the spread of disease. Masks should be replaced at intervals and touching the mask time and again should be avoided.

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4. MYTH: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people infected with the disease.

FACT: Thermal scanners detect people who have fever because of the COVID-19 infection. However, the cause of fever cannot always be attributed to the Coronavirus infection and they fail to detect people who are infected but do not exhibit symptoms of fever yet. It takes between 2 to 10 days for infected people to develop fever.

5. MYTH: Smoking decreases the chances of getting infected by Coronavirus.

FACT: Although some recent studies have concluded that smoking may reduce the risk of COVID infection, the World Health Organization or the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention are not in accordance with the same. Smoking is always injurious to health and should be avoided.

6. MYTH: Consuming lot of Vitamin C can prevent infection.

FACT: The human body can only absorb a certain amount of Vitamin C. Extremely high amounts of Vitamin C may cause undesirable side-effects. A healthy immune system is one's best defence against infective diseases.

7. MYTH: Eating garlic prevents COVID infection

FACT: Garlic has some anti-microbial properties; however, there is no evidence that consuming garlic confers protection from the disease.

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8. MYTH: Coronavirus only affects older people.

FACT: People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 strain. However, people with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to contract the disease. Everyone should take steps to protect themselves from the virus, maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene.

9. MYTH: Antibiotics are effective in the prevention and treatment of the new coronavirus.

FACT: The World Health Organization dictates that there are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Whilst several drugs are under on-going trials, there is no evidence that they are effective.

10. MYTH: A vaccine is available for the COVID-19.

FACT: Although vaccines and trials are under development for the disease, no vaccine is yet available for the prevention of coronavirus.

11. MYTH: Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation can still infect others.

FACT: Someone who has been strictly quarantined or released from isolation is deemed to not harbour the virus and does not pose any risk of infection to other people.

12. MYTH: Exposure to sunlight or high temperatures prevents the coronavirus disease.

FACT: One can get infected by COVID-19 regardless how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.

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13. MYTH: Spraying or consuming bleach, drinking methanol, ethanol or any another disinfectant will protect you against COVID-19.

FACT: Consuming bleach or other disinfectants can be extremely hazardous. These substances are poisonous if ingested and causes severe irritation if it comes in contact with the skin and eyes. Surfaces are disinfected using these chemicals.

14. MYTH: COVID-19 can be transmitted by house-flies and mosquitoes.

FACT: There is no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through houseflies or mosquitoes. The mode of the transmission is through droplets that are dispersed when an infected person sneezes, coughs or speaks. The virus may be acquired by touching contaminated surfaces.

15. MYTH: Pets at home can transmit coronavirus.

FACT: There is yet no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always in the best interest to wash hands with soap and water after handling pets.

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(Also read: Pregnancy During COVID-19: Required Tests, Symptoms Of Labour And Tips To Stay Safe)

16. MYTH: COVID-19 is a man-made virus and a form of bio-terrorism.

FACT: There is still no evidence that this virus strain is man-made. Coronaviruses affect animals primarily; however it may be transmitted from animals to humans.

Guidelines are being updated every day as we discover facts about the new Coronavirus. Myths related to the Coronavirus are best explored and broken, rumours contained and awareness raised. We should all share information on social media responsibly.

About the Author: Dr. Shounak Biswas is a Post Graduate Trainee in the Department of Community Medicine, Calcutta National Medical College.

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