Mythbusters

Do you feel like you’ve heard so much information, some borderline science fiction, some plain stupid and you are not sure what the truth is anymore?  Well, this is the place where we try to explain some of the myths and why they are not true, from the scientific point of view.

Not true! Drinking alcohol does NOT protect you against COVID-19. Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.

Source: WHO

Not true! You CAN catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Source: WHO

Not true! There is NO reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.

Source: WHO

Not true! You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It does NOT mean you will have it for life. Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies within two to four weeks. After you recover, you do have the antibodies developed for the virus which may protect you if you encounter it again.

Source: WHO

Not true! Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease or any other lung disease. The proper way to confirm if you have the virus is a laboratory test.

Source: WHO

Not true! From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus CAN be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19.

Source: WHO

Not true! Taking a hot bath will NOT prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. If you take a hot bath with extremely hot water you risk getting burned or overheated.

Source: WHO

Not true! To date there has been NO information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus 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. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Source: WHO

Not true! Hand dryers are NOT effective in killing the SARS-CoV2. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should 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.

Source: WHO

Not true! UV lamps should NOT be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation. It does show some degree of disinfection properties when used on surfaces, but this is highly dependable on many factors, including the distance and type of the surface or medium.

Source: WHO

 

Not true! Thermal scanners may be effective in detecting people who have developed a fever i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature but CANNOT differentiate the reason for the fever (i.e. if it is indeed due to the SARS-CoV2). They also CANNOT detect people who are infected but without fever, since it takes between 2 and 10 days for an infected person to become sick and develop symptoms.

Source: WHO

Not true! Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be very harmful to your skin, eyes, mouth etc. Both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces if used under appropriate recommendations.

Source: WHO

Not true! Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, do NOT provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine which is now under development. Although these vaccines are not effective against SARS-CoV2, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

Source: WHO

Not true! There is NO evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. It may be useful for keeping your respiratory mucosa hydrated for better protection, but it does not mean you will not get infected.

Source: WHO

Not true! Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is NO evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from getting infected with the new coronavirus.

Source: WHO

Not true! People of all ages CAN be infected by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. Nevertheless, people of all ages are advised to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

Source: WHO

Not true! Antibiotics do NOT work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. If someone develops pneumonia (as a bacterial infection on top of the viral) the use of certain antibiotics is justified, but only administered by doctors, never yourself!

Source: WHO

Not true! To date, there is NO specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care in hospitals.

Source: WHO

Not completely true! Surgical masks are not a 100% protection from getting infected and can give you a false feeling of protection. They can even be a source of infection when not used correctly, so you must combine them with proper hand hygiene. World Health Organization only recommends the use of regular surgical masks if you are sick or if you are taking care of a sick person. People who are already infected with the virus and have respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing, should wear a mask to protect others and slow down the spread.

Source: WHO

Not true! The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings (in case of the shortages of the surgical masks) in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Improvised homemade face masks CAN provide the wearers some protection from microorganisms from others who are infected but cannot eliminate the risk, thus they should be viewed as the last possible alternative if a supply of commercial face masks is not available.

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Not true! SARS-CoV2 causes illness that does, indeed, have flu-like symptoms, such as aches, fever, and cough. Similarly, both COVID-19 and flu can be mild, severe, or, in rare cases, fatal. Both can also lead to pneumonia. However, there are differences. The overall profile of COVID-19 is more serious. Estimates vary, but the number of secondary infections generated from one infected individual is higher than for influenza. Also SARS-CoV-2 mortality rate seems to be between 3-4%, which is higher compared to the one one of the seasonal flu, which is well below 0.1%.

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Not true! The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, although some animals tested positive for the virus, there is NO confirmed evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.

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Not true! The longer someone is with an infected person, the more likely they are to catch the virus, but it is still possible to catch it in less than 10 minutes.

Source: WHO

Not true! Viruses CANNOT travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.

Source: WHO

Not true! SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans; SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe disease, whereas HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E are associated with mild symptoms, responsible for common cold. A review of comparative analysis of genomic data done by researchers, showed that SARS-CoV-2 is NOT a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.

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