March 14 ------ As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, news articles and social media posts about the outbreak continue to circulate online. Unfortunately, some information contains fiction — and during a viral outbreak, rumors and misinformation can be dangerous.
MYTH: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will kill COVID-19
FACT: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 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 (eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.”
MYTH: Cold weather can kill COVID-19
FACT: There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill COVID-19. The normal human body temperature remains 36.5C to 76C, regardless of external temperature or weather.
MYTH: COVID-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites
FACT: The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To date, there has been no information or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through mosquitoes.
MYTH: Pets at home can spread COVID-19
FACT: The WHO reiterated that there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
MYTH: Vaccines against pneumonia can protect you against COVID-19
FACT: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and haemophilus influenza 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. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, and WHO is supporting their efforts.”
MYTH: COVID-19 only affects old people
FACT: WHO underscored that people of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). 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.
MYTH: Antibiotics prevent and treat COVID-19
FACT: Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is a virus; therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
MYTH: There are medicines to prevent COVID-19
FACT: To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19.
“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. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials,” the WHO noted.