NEW DELHI: Since the coronavirus novel, also known as COVID-19, spreads from Wuhan, China, to 109 countries, so do all kinds of myths and rumors surrounding it. In order to prevent disinformation from spreading further, WHO has published a list of myth-busters. Here is a look at the most pervasive myths and why they are wrong.
READ ALSO: Live updates of the coronavirus epidemic
READ ALSO: Live updates of the coronavirus epidemic
- Cold and snow kill the new coronavirus
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal temperature of the human body remains between 36.5 ° C and 37 ° C, regardless of the external temperature or weather conditions. The most effective way to protect yourself from the new coronavirus is to frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based cleaner or wash them with soap and water.
- Taking a hot bath prevents new coronavirus disease
Taking a hot bath will not stop you from taking COVID-19. Normal body temperature remains between 36.5 ° C and 37 ° C, regardless of the temperature of the bath or shower. In fact, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wipe your hands frequently. This eliminates the viruses that may be present on the hands and avoids the infections that can occur by touching the eyes, mouth and nose.
- The new coronavirus can be transmitted through products manufactured in China or in any country that reports COVID-19 cases.
Although the new coronavirus can remain on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), the virus is very unlikely to persist on a surface after being moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions and temperatures. If you believe a surface can be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand or wash them with soap and water.
- The new coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bites
To date, there has been no information or evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through saliva droplets or secretions from the nose. To protect yourself, wash your hands often with an alcohol-based hand or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who coughs and sneezes.
- Electric hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus
Towels are not effective in killing 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself from the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand or wash them with soap and water. After cleaning your hands, dry them thoroughly using paper towels or a hot air dryer.
- Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of the skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
- 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 body temperature than normal) due to infection with the new coronavirus. However, I am unable to detect people who are infected but are not yet suffering from fever. This is because it takes 2 to 10 days for infected people to get sick and develop a fever.
- Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body kill the new coronavirus?
No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying these substances can be harmful to clothing or mucous membranes (eg eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful for disinfecting surfaces, but they must be used according to the appropriate recommendations.
- Can pets spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
At present, there is no evidence that pets / pets such as dogs or cats can become infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you from various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella which can pass between pets and humans.
- Do pneumonia vaccines protect you from the new coronavirus?
No. Pneumonia vaccines, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus type B (Hib) influenza vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are looking to develop a 2019-nCoV vaccine and WHO is supporting their efforts. Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory diseases is highly recommended to protect your health.
- Can regular rinsing of the nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regular rinsing of the nose with saline has protected people from infections with the new coronavirus. There is limited evidence that regular rinsing of the nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from
cold. However, regular nose rinsing has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
- Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Garlic is a healthy food that can have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence of the current epidemic that garlic consumption has protected people from the new coronavirus.
- Does the new coronavirus affect older people or are younger people sensitive too?
People of all ages can become infected with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) seem to be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take measures to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
- Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics don’t work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and therefore antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for 2019-nCoV, you may be receiving antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
- Are there specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, those infected with the virus should receive adequate treatment to alleviate and treat symptoms and those with serious illnesses should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under study and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partner.