Coronavirus has now been declared as a health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Codenamed “COVID-19“, the disease which originated in the city of Wuhan located in the Hubei province of China, has now spread to over 100 countries across the globe. As of the date of writing, there have been 118,718 confirmed cases and 4,298 reported deaths. Since the type of coronavirus that is affecting the human race cannot be developed in a laboratory, the studies are limited to the patients. As a result, treatments have been difficult to develop. Public health is at high risk and the world economy has hit an all-time low.
Today, we will discuss some myths and facts about the coronavirus.
- 1 Coronavirus Cannot Be Transmitted In Hot And Humid Climate
- 2 Cold Weather And Snow Kills Coronavirus.
- 3 Only Older People Are At Risk Of Getting Affected By Coronavirus.
- 4 Eating Garlic Can Help Prevent Against Coronavirus.
- 5 Pneumonia Vaccine Can Help You Protect Against Coronavirus.
- 6 Spraying Alchohol Or Chlorine On The Body Kills Coronavirus.
- 7 Pets At Home Can Spread Coronavirus.
- 8 Ultraviolet Disinfection Lamp Kills Coronavirus.
- 9 Hot Water Baths Kills Coronavirus.
- 10 Hand Dryers Are Effective In Killing Coronavirus.
- 11 Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Goods Manufactured In China.
- 12 Coronavirus Cannot Be Transmitted Through Mosquito Bites.
- 13 Rinsing Your Nose With Saline Can Prevent Infection.
- 14 Antibiotics Are Effective In Preventing And Treating Coronavirus.
- 15 Face masks will protect you from the virus
False. The virus has spread to countries with both cold and dry climates, as well as hot and humid. Based on the evidence so far, the virus survives in ALL AREAS regardless of the weather conditions of that area.
Take precautions wherever you live. Frequently wash your hands as it eliminates any virus that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
False. Once the virus has managed to enter your body the virus can infect you. The temperature inside the body remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. This temperature is perfectly suitable for the virus to replicate and infect the victim.
If you are living or traveling to a country that has reported COVID-19, make sure to keep an alcohol rub or at least a soap. Washing your hands 5-6 times a day will greatly reduce the risk of developing the disease.
False. According to The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) — China, 2020, the death rate (number of deaths/number of cases) is maximum in old people. Also, people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
|DEATH RATE (all cases )|
80+ years old
70-79 years old
60-69 years old
50-59 years old
40-49 years old
30-39 years old
20-29 years old
10-19 years old
|0-9 years old|
While deaths are mostly in the old age group, the below figure shows that almost 90% of the people above the age of 30 are vulnerable to the new coronavirus.
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.
False. Garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
Garlic has excellent antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence that garlic (cooked or raw) has prevented people from getting affected by the new coronavirus.
False. Pneumonia vaccines, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. This virus doesn’t have a single structure, in fact, this is a large family of viruses that are collectively known as the coronavirus.
Most of the known symptoms only have simple effects on the people such as giving them a mild respiratory disease like the common cold, but there have been two such cases of the coronavirus that have shown massive effects on the infected which are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Researchers are still finding all the viruses in this family that cause serious effects. It needs its own vaccine.
Although these immunizations are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory sicknesses is strongly recommended to ensure your wellbeing.
False. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that already entered your body. Both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations. This is pretty obvious but we mentioned it anyway in case anybody wanted to read.
Can’t be said. As of now, there has been no confirmed case of COVID-19 in pets such as dogs and cats. However, washing hands after coming in contact with animals, is already an established health hygiene. Doing so protects pet owners from bacterial problems such as Salmonella and E.coli.
True. As per the most recent statement on the diagnosis and treatment of the novel coronavirus given by the National Health Commission of China, the virus is sensitive to ultraviolet light and warmth, so bright ultraviolet light can successfully kill the virus.
As per the guidelines, indoor spaces should be disinfected with ultraviolet light with a power of over 1.5 watts per square meter. A UV light can sterilize objects inside one meter of radius if exposed 30 minutes.
Longer exposure to radiation is required when the temperature inside is under 20°C or over 40°C and relative humidity is more than 60 percent. A room should be ventilated after UV disinfection, and people are suggested to enter the room half an hour later.
However, you should not come in direct contact with the UV light. As per the official statement released by the WHO,
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
False. Taking a hot water bath will not stop the notorious virus. The body temperature which remains around 36.5°C to 37°C regardless of the temperature of the water you use to take bath. Avoid extremely hot water as it might cause burns on the skin.
Again the only solution as of now is better hand hygiene.
False. A study conducted in 1989, showed that gentle old-style hand dryer dispersed bacteria in the hands over a three-foot radius and onto the user’s clothes. Another study in 2015, evaluating the potential for virus dispersal during hand drying showed that the jet-air dryers like Dyson produced significantly greater dispersal at different heights and different distances than the warm air dryer or paper towels. The jet-air dryer also produced significantly greater aerosolization of a virus on the hands.
Hence, paper towels are more hygienic than the hand dryers which spread viruses into the air thereby increasing their capability to come in contact with more humans.
False. According to WHO, it is safe to receive packages and goods from China. Research has found that coronavirus such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV do not survive for long such as metals, glass, and plastic.
For a virus to remain effective, it needs a combination of specific environmental conditions such as temperature, lack of UV exposure and humidity — a combination that isn’t available in shipping packages.
According to the study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, SARS-CoV can survive for two days on steel, four days on glass and wood and nine days on plastic. It only survives for 5-8 hours on aluminum and less than 8 hours on latex.
True. The new coronavirus can transmit only through droplets from cough or sneeze of an infected person.
Mosquitoes and ticks can’t spread all types of viruses. At this time, we have no data to suggest that COVID-19 or other similar coronaviruses (e.g. SARS, MERS) are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. For a virus to pass to a person through a mosquito or tick bite, the virus must be able to replicate inside the mosquito or tick.
Rinsing Your Nose With Saline Can Prevent Infection.
False. There is only limited evidence to suggest it actually helps. But some swear by rinsing their nose with saltwater as a way of recovering more quickly from the common cold.
However, saltwater rinses have not been shown to prevent respiratory infections in the past. The National Health Service in the UK has stated: “There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saltwater protects you from coronavirus”.
After a top Chinese respiratory expert advised people to rinse their mouths with salt water to prevent infection, this “cure” was shared widely across social media. However, it was debunked by other experts. Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese epidemiologist, and pulmonologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003 said, “No present findings have suggested that saline water can kill the new coronavirus.”
False. There has been no specific medicine for the treatment or prevention of COVID. Also, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. If you are diagnosed with coronavirus disease, health specialists can prescribe you antibiotics to prevent co-bacterial infections like pneumonia.
Face masks will protect you from the virus
False. Not all face masks adhere to the quality standards of an effective filter to stop SARS-CoV from spreading. The aim of wearing a face mask is to block the transmission of the virus through droplets from coughs and sneezes. What people don’t realize is that the virus can still find its ways through the eyes.
The only people who really need to wear face masks are those who are likely to be in close contact with infected people. There’s little evidence of a widespread benefit of face masks to the general public.