Since the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic that has ravaged the whole world, there have been a number of mistaken beliefs, false impressions and unproven information surrounding this novel virus. The world has been thrown into a panic mode and it is important that any impressions or information that goes around to the general public are from the highest level of credible authorities. Trusted sources like the World Health Organization (who.int), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov), National Institutes of Health (nih.gov) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (ncdc.gov.ng).
Misinformation is widespread during times like this and the best way to deal with this is to arm yourself with enough facts as you can and also do well to educate others.
Below, Some of the widespread myths and misleading information regarding COVID-19 and the pandemic are debunked.
Q: Dogs spread or get infected with coronavirus
A: This myth started out because a dog was tested positive with coronavirus. However, the WHO stepped in and state that dogs cannot spread the virus. While dogs are susceptible to the family of coronavirus, they are not going to get infected with this strain of the new coronavirus.
Q: Thermal scanners detect COVID-19
A: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.
However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with a fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
Q: Eating garlic will help ward off the virus
A: Garlic is a health food that may have some anti-microbial properties. However, COVID-19 is caused by a virus and there is no evidence that garlic can protect people against it.
Q: Everyone should wear a nose mask to reduce risk
A: WHO recommends that asymptomatic individuals (i.e., who do not have respiratory symptoms should not wear medical masks. Masks are recommended to be used by symptomatic persons in the community. When used alone, masks can give you a false feeling of protection and can even be a source of infection when not used correctly. Misuse and overuse of medical masks may cause serious issues of shortage of stocks and lack of mask availability for those who actually need to wear them.
Q: Home remedies can cure or protect against COVID-19
A: No home remedies can protect against COVID-19, including vitamin C, essential oils, silver colloid, sesame oil, garlic and sipping water every 15 minutes.
The best approach is to adopt a good handwashing regimen and to avoid places where there are people showing symptoms of infection with the virus.
Q: The virus originated in a laboratory in China
A; Despite the swathes of internet rumours, there is no evidence that this is the case. In fact, a recent study demonstrates that the virus is a natural product of evolution.
Some researchers believe that SARS-CoV-2 may have jumped from pangolins to humans. Others think that it might have passed to us from bats, which was the case for SARS.
Q: Only old people are affected by the virus
A: People of all ages can be infected with the novel coronavirus. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc) appear to be more susceptible to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
Q: If you can hold your breath for ten seconds without discomfort, you don’t have the virus
A: Dr Faheem Younus tweeted out that most young patients infected with the new coronavirus will be able to hold their breaths for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderly people without the virus won’t be able to do it. The only way to be certain that you are not infected is to get tested.
Q: The new coronavirus CANNOT be killed by any kind of weather
A: From the evidence so far, COVID-19 can be transmitted in ALL AREAS including areas with hot and cold weather conditions. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5℃ to 37℃, regardless of the external temperature or weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in or travel to areas that have reported cases of COVID-19. The most effective way to protect yourself and the general public is by frequently washing your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and also observing good respiratory hygiene.
Q: Possibility of re-infection after being cured of the virus
A: Currently there is no definite answer to this question. However, according to Havard, most people who get cured develop at least a short term immunity towards a specific strain of the coronavirus.
Still, got questions or need further clarification? Please drop it in the comment box or chat with our information specialist directly. We would love to hear from you.