COVID-19, Myths vs Facts

BY SECOND CONSULT Published on May 19, 2021

As the world continues to struggle and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, each and everyone of us awaits for a ray of hope, a sigh of relief, a news that would say that we have contained the virus or we have found the vaccine that can prevent the infection. But with numerous information and misinformations circulating all over, we have reached a stage where our consciousness is confused on what to believe and what not to believe. 

Just like the virus mutating itself there are a lot of myths spreading around. As important it is to curb the spread of the virus, curtailing the spread of misinformation and rumours is equally vital. It is surprising to know that to what extent people tend to believe matters that are not even close to reality when in a state of panic. It is essential to keep a filter on the data that you receive as believing in an incorrect piece of information can be as deadly as the disease itself.

Let us focus on some facts about COVID-19 that are absolute.

  1. Covid virus cannot be transmitted through mosquitoes and houseflies:

There is no clinical evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through mosquito bites or 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. 

  1. Drinking alcohol cannot prevent COVID-19:

Anyone can imagine why this myth is so prevalent considering the fact that alcohol based disinfectant and sanitizers are our protective shields against the deadly virus. However this myth is as silly as it is dangerous, if you believe it, because excessive alcohol consumption is unquestionably a risk to your health and life and can in no way save you from corona infection.

  1. 5G Mobile Network cannot spread Corona Virus:

Virus cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. There is no scientific evidence to the myth that 5G mobile networks can spread Covid-19.

  1. Spraying disinfectants and chemicals like chlorine and bleach cannot protect you from getting infected by COVID virus:

Applying chlorine or bleach can be dangerous to the skin and even more deadly if it enters your body. Chemicals like these can disinfect only surfaces and not your body or internal system.

  1. Older people with existing ailments are NOT the only people to get infected:

While the elderly and people with pre-existing health problems are at higher risk of contracting the virus and more vulnerable to serious illness, the statistics have shown that folks of all ages have been infected and it is crucial for everybody to follow the steps and  hygiene rules to safeguard themselves.

  1. Rinsing your nose with saline solution cannot keep you away from the virus:

Evidence has indicated that rinsing the nose with saline solution can help recover faster from acute upper respiratory tract infections, but does not reduce the risk of COVID-19.

  1. 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 as there are many causes of fever.  

  1. Antibiotics do not kill the Corona Virus:

Antibiotics are effective on bacteria but not on viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and therefore antibiotics should not be used for prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection.

  1. Eating Garlic cannot protect you from the Corona Virus:

Garlics are a healthy vegetable that have antimicrobial properties and can slow the growth of certain bacteria but it has not been clinically proven to be effective against the COVID-19 virus.

  1. Hand dryers and UV lamps cannot be used as disinfectant:

Another widely spread rumour is that hand dryers and UV lamps can kill the virus. Hand dryers do not kill the COVID-19 virus. Rather than being helpful, UV radiation can be harmful to your skin and can cause irritation. The best way to protect yourself is by cleaning and washing your hands regularly with soap and water or with alcohol based sanitizer.

  1. Extreme weather conditions cannot kill the virus:

People tend to believe that the COVID-19 virus cannot survive in very hot or very cold climates. Whether the climate is cold or warm, scientists haven’t established if the virus can survive in these temperature conditions.

  1. Getting infected by COVID-19 is not a death sentence:

Most people with mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms recover, thanks to our healthcare system. If you experience COVID-19 like symptoms such as cold, fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, then take medical advice at the initial stage to avoid any kind of complication.

  1. Regular use of alcohol based hand sanitizers are safe:

Disinfectants are excellent replacements when soap and water are not readily available to wash your hands. Regular use of disinfectants has not been shown to cause serious health problems. Allergic reactions are rare side effects. Accidental poisoning or ingestion can be dangerous.

  1. Continuous use of mask does not cause oxygen deficiency:

Wearing masks all the time can be uncomfortable but it does not lead to intoxication or oxygen deficiency as the rumour conveys. When worn properly, masks do not cause any breathing difficulty. As of today, masks are the safest way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 virus. However, this does not mean that just wearing a mask will protect you from infection. It is equally important to keep your distance and wash your hands frequently, along with making sure all precautions are carefully followed.

  1. Pneumonia vaccine cannot prevent COVID-19:

The COVID-19 virus is new and different from other viruses. The pneumonia vaccine cannot help curb the spread of disease caused by the Corona virus. Researchers are still working on the vaccine which may be more effective against COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Government of India has initiated vaccination like Covishield and Covaxin which have proven to show better results. A third coronavirus vaccine - Sputnik V from Russia, has also received approval amidst the second wave of infections.

Reiterating the guidelines given by WHO to protect yourself from the infection of Coronavirus.

  • Maintain physical distance, keep at least 1meter separation and avoid close contact.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth as the virus enters your body through these channels.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol based hand sanitizer when the former is not available. 
  • Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. 
  • Use a recommended face mask when stepping out. Make sure to wear it properly covering the nose and mouth. Face shields can also be worn over this, if feasible.
  • Sneeze into a tissue and discard it safely or use the crook of your elbow while sneezing. 
  • If you experience COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cold, cough, shortage of breath, seek medical advice.
  • If you are tested positive and have mild symptoms restrain from going to the hospital and take all the necessary care staying at home.
  • Keep yourself isolated in a well ventilated room.
  • Have a Pulse Oximeter handy to monitor the oxygen level within a gap of 3-4 hours.
  • Seek immediate medical attention and hospital care if the oxygen level drops down from 92%.
  • Stay hydrated and take ample rest.
  • Do Not panic.

Stay safe and stay away from myths, rumours and misinformations.

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