COVID-19 Myth Busters True or False – There are many myths swirling around on the Internet at the moment about Covid-19.
To ensure that we all stay informed with accurate information, the World Health Organization (WHO) has put together a “myth busters” page, highlighting the truth about some of the most popular misconceptions out there.
Here, we summarise a few of the most worrying myths on the page, but make sure you also head to WHO’s own webpage for more information.
1. Can the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, only be transmitted in areas with certain weathers and temperatures?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transmitted in all areas around the world. This includes areas with hot and humid weather and no, cold weather and snow cannot kill this new coronavirus.
WHO says the most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by “frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water”.
2. Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Although garlic is a healthy food that can bring health benefits as part of a balanced diet, there is no evidence that it can protect against the coronavirus.
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3. Can taking antibiotics protect against Covid-19?
No, Covid-19 is caused by a virus, and antibiotics do not work against viruses, only against bacteria. So far, there are no specific medications recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus. However, if you are infected with the virus and need hospital attention, you should receive the care needed to relieve and treat your symptoms.
4. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
No, this will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. In fact, spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can damage mucous membranes in areas such as the eyes and mouth. Stick to using them to disinfect surfaces.
5. Can the new coronavirus be transmitted through mosquito bites?
No, there is no evidence to suggest that it can be transmitted by mosquitoes. However, it is spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so wash your hands frequently with soap and water (or use an alcohol gel if you cannot wash them) and avoid touching your face.
6. Does taking a hot bath prevent Covid-19?
No, your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Again, WHO stresses that the best way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is by frequently washing your hands to kill viruses and avoiding touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
7. 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. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
8. Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
9. Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the COVID – 19. 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. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
10. Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). 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.