Coronavirus: Myths Vs Facts
As Coronavirus expands its footprint across the world, the desperation to find its cure also catches pace. The avalanche of misinformation about the disease is unprecedented and mind-boggling. From Facebook to WhatsApp, the theories about its origination, cure and protective measures keep pouring in abundance, causing more confusion and chaos in our minds and around. In fact, it might be possible to escape the virus but not the coronavirus fake news pandemic sweeping our phones & lives.
The misinformation is spreading at such a rapid speed that the World Health Organization had to declare it a fight against an epidemic as well as ‘infodemic’. From home remedies to Ayurvedic concoctions, the slew of health advice range from useless to downright harmful. So NBL decided to break down some biggest Coronavirus myths and give you the real information instead. Remember, you don’t need to follow every piece of advice that pops on your mobile screen. Social distancing and hand hygiene are going to be your best defense against COVID-19.
Myth 1 - Cough & cold means I have Novel Coronavirus19
Fact – No, this is not true! The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty in breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
Myth 2 - Wearing a mask & using hand sanitizer will make me immune.
Fact – The panic buying doesn’t protect you against this pandemic. Buying bottles and bottles of hand sanitizers and masks only lead to price hike and shortage of both. Mask is required:
∙ If you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
∙ 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. Most importantly, if you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Myth 3 - Eating non-vegetarian food would put me at higher risk.
Fact - All animal-based food products if cooked at an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius it is safe to consume. Avoid raw food though.
Myth 4 - Vitamin C will protect me from Corona.
Fact - Your immune system does need vitamin C to work right but a generous dose of it does not mean you can completely prevent COVID-19. However, currently ongoing trials on patients with COVID19 demonstrate promising results in treatment procedures when high doses of Vitamin C are being given through IV as it leads to a significant reduction in inflammation.
Myth 5 - Noni water is the cure.
Fact - While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.
Myth 6 – Drinking hot water every 15 minutes will prevent coronavirus disease.
Fact - There is no current scientific evidence behind the claim that keeping your mouth moist will prevent infection with coronavirus. But staying hydrated can help keep your immune system strong. The temperature of the water you drink is not important, however, drinking water and staying hydrated is important for many reasons. You cannot "flush out" the virus from your airway by drinking water. The idea that drinking water will push the virus into your stomach where it will be killed is not based on any scientific fact. But do stay hydrated.
COVID-19 – Simplified
How it is transmitted?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. It is, therefore, possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.
What is the best source of information on COVID-19?
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping the outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
WHAT TO DO AND WHY
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
What - Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why - Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
What - Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why - When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
What - Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why - Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
What - Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why - Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
What - Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why - National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
What - Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why - You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
∙ Wash your hands frequently
∙ Avoid contact with the infected person
∙ Maintain 3-feet distance from anyone coughing
∙ No raw food, eating raw vegetables not recommended either, wash all produce well in salt vinegar solution
∙ No harm in consuming non-veg food if handled correctly (washed and cooked well)∙ Avoid eat-outs and focus on home-cooked meals
∙ Boost your immunity with sleep and superfoods, which help in strengthening your defense mechanism but do not use it as a cure. The best prevention is to avoid contact
∙ Drinking Alcohol is NOT a solution.
Don't panic, support by following government regulation, don't pass on misinformation, contact a doctor if you have any symptoms rather than self-diagnosis or self-cure. Stay covered, stay in, stay safe and do not panic. We are all in this together and we can all by taking small precautions fight this out, together.