A lot of talk about the coronavirus is going around, whether they are myths or not. I heard using a blowdryer will kill the virus. I heard that if you are older, you probably have the virus. I should wear the mask I have sitting in my closet everywhere I go to protect myself against the pandemic. You're coughing! Okay, that means you definitely have the virus.
It's definitely hard to take a rumor for what it is. Most of us are a little gullible whether we like to admit it or not. We're guilty of it ourselves sometimes! However, if you're the type of person who likes to do research and fact-check what people say, you've come to the right place.
A bunch of he-said, she-said is going around, but it's important to trust reliable officials and websites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It's easy to believe a myth, but we're here to bring light to the facts. The World Health Organization does a great job at outlining some of the myths we have seen going around:
MYTH: Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees prevents the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
FACT: You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.
MYTH: You can never recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) once you catch it.
FACT: 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.
MYTH: You can test if you have coronavirus if you cannot hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort.
FACT: 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.
MYTH: Cold weather and snow can kill the new coronavirus.
FACT: 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. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.
MYTH: Vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus.
FACT: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, 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: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can help prevent infection from the virus.
FACT: There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
These myths and facts were obtained from WHO's website "Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters". For more myths and facts not mentioned on their website, stay tuned to our Facebook Stories as we uncover more common myths throughout the month!