Kohima, May 15 (NE): nCOVID-19 was first identified towards the end of the year 2019 when Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. It was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020 by WHO.
Since then there has been a number of myths accompanied with the pandemic as the scientists burn the midnight oil to come up with a vaccine, but still it is ongoing.
Some COVID-19 myth busters by the WHO are:
1-Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
2-Thermal scanners CANNOT detect COVID-19
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19
3-Adding pepper to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19
Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least 1 metre away from others and to wash hands frequently and thoroughly. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well.
4-COVID-19 is NOT transmitted through houseflies
To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
5-Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.
Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.
Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.
6-Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous
Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs.
7-5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19
Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.
8-You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus 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. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover, thanks to supportive care.
9-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 (COVID-19) or any other lung disease
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
10-Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.
11-COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands.
12-Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
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.
13-Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
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. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you.
14-The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.
15-Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV.
16-Ultra-violet (UV) lamps should not be used to disinfect hands or other areas of your skin
UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes.
Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water are the most effective ways to remove the virus.
17-Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.
Although, these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
18-Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
19-Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
There are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19.
20-Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 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.
21-Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not 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.