The world is distressed with the outbreak of the latest corona virus. More than one lakh people have been tested positive and WHO warns the numbers could increase significantly. Majority of the world is under some sort of a lockdown. Social distancing is the only way to contain the rapid spread of the virus.
What spreads faster and wider than the novel coronavirus, especially in a huge country with a massive population like India? Fake news, of course. As with any major phenomenon, rumours, gossip and unscientific beliefs are making their way into people’s screens and minds. Listed here are some of the most commonly associated myths surrounding the diseases and the real truth you need to know. Do share it and help someone in need!
1. Face Masks Protect You From Virus
Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from SARS-CoV-2, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not lay flush to the face. That said, surgical masks can help prevent infected people from spreading the virus further by blocking any respiratory droplets that could be expelled from their mouths. So wearing a mask when you are sick from cold or fever is recommended. Any close caretakers in the proximity of the affected person are also advised to wear masks.
2. The Virus Was Probably Made In Lab
No evidence suggests that the virus is man-made. Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be. In short, the characteristics of corona virus fall in line with what we know about other naturally occurring coronaviruses that made the jump from animals to people.
3. Kids Can’t Catch The Corona Virus
Children can definitely catch COVID-19, though initial reports suggested fewer cases in children compared with adults. For example, a Chinese study from Hubei province released in February found that of more than 44,000 cases of COVID-19, about only 2.2% involved children under age 19.
4. Vitamin C Prevents You From Catching COVID-19
Researchers have yet to find any evidence that vitamin C supplements can render people immune to COVID-19 infection. In fact, for most people, taking extra vitamin C does not even ward off the common cold, though it may shorten the duration of a cold if you catch one. That said, vitamin C serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function.
5. A Vaccine For COVID-19 Is Available
For a vaccine to be tested and approved for human use, it takes several years. Rushing the process would be added stress to the scientists. There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months. Moreover testing it on animals and clinically ill patients will still be a long road ahead.
6. Ordering Chinese Products Is Dangerous
Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. As of this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19 from a commercial package is low since it has likely traveled over several days and been exposed to different temperatures and conditions during transit. Moreover, the corona virus is not viable for more than 42 hours.
7. COVID-19 Will Vanish In Higher Temperature
COVID-19 cases have appeared in many tropical countries like Singapore, Thailand, India. So the idea that it will completely go away in the summer is not true. When it comes to virus transmission factors such as temperature, humidity and type of surface must be considered. Virus-laden droplets on surfaces can remain anywhere between 2 hours to nine days according to the WHO. These are likely to dry out rapidly in warm weather, possibly reducing its chances of being picked up.
8. Antibiotics Treat Corona Virus
This is not true. Antibiotics work only against bacteria. What we are dealing with now is a virus, which an antibiotic cannot kill. The reason antibiotics are prescribed when someone is infected with, say, the influenza virus, is that this leaves you vulnerable to other bacteria in your system, so the infection becomes two-pronged. The virus kills epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract making it vulnerable and bacteria can grow very easily on it. But in this case, an antibiotic is of no use.
9. Meat Can Spread Corona
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that can only come from direct contact with droplets released by an infected person. While it may have originated in animals and then transmitted to people through dietary means, it is not transmitted from person to person through food or meat. So there is no reason why you should stop eating non-vegetarian food. The only precautions to be taken should be to ensure whatever is eaten is fresh, properly cooked and is stored or transported with correct hygiene protocols.
10. Mosquitoes Transmit Corona Virus
No. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the corona virus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The World Health Organization says the above fact. 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.
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