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Facts and myths on Coronavirus

Find out the right information about Coronavirus

Myth 1: If you are black you are immune from contracting Coronavirus

The virus can attack anyone regardless of skin color/race/ethnicity- all persons are at risk of developing the disease so long they have made contact with a person that has the virus or a contaminated surface.

Myth 2: Saline, garlic and sesame oil can prevent Coronavirus infection.

There is "no evidence" that these products can ward off coronavirus (COVID-19) and there is no known preventive treatment for COVID-19. WHO notes that while researchers are pursuing possible vaccines against coronavirus, no vaccine is currently available.

Myth 3: Spraying your body down with alcohol or chlorine, or swallowing bleach, can kill the new Coronavirus.

No. 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 (i.e. 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 4: Eating garlic can 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.

Myth 5: The new Coronavirus only affects older people, younger people are not susceptible

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus- Covid - 19. 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.

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.

Myth 6: There specific medicines to prevent or treat the new Coronavirus

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the coronavirus (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. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

Myth 7: The new Coronavirus is man-made.

Coronavirus (COVID-19), like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, can be traced back to bats, and many of the first patients in Wuhan had a link to large seafood and live animal market. However, researchers have yet to identify the exact animal that led to the first human case. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

Myth 8: Coronavirus can spread from products, letters or packages from China.

People receiving packages from China or purchasing products from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From the previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

Myth 9: Coronavirus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

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.

Myth 10: 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.

Myth 11: Taking a hot bath prevents one from contracting 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.

Myth 12: Thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new Coronavirus

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 fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Myth 13: Hand dryers effective in killing the new Coronavirus.

No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently 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 or a warm air dryer.

Myth 14: The ultraviolet disinfection lamp will kill the new Coronavirus.

UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

Myth 15: Vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new Coronavirus.

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, 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 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

Myth 16: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline will 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.

Myth 17: Antibiotics are 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. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

Myth 18: 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. 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.

Myth 19: You have to wear a mask every time as a preventive measure

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with the suspected COVID-19 infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Right now, the best methods of prevention, are to avoid close contact with sick individuals, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, clean and disinfect hard surfaces, and limit touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By cleaning your hands you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Survey Prompt _ COVID19_English How are you feeling in COVID-19 times?

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