Myths about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is the most talked about topic nowadays as people are concerned over the spread of Coronavirus. The virus has impacted almost all the countries across the globe and has been declared as ‘pandemic’ by W.H.O. It is important for all of us to be aware and have the right information at this point so that we are cautious and are not spreading the pandemic. However, multiple myths are spreading across the globe, about the disease. Let us talk about some of the myths and try to clear those out so that we are not spreading any wrong information or unnecessary fear among people.

Myth 1: Coronavirus can be killed with alcohol intake.

Clarification: No, this is not true as no studies are supporting the claim that alcohol can kill the virus or it can be a cure for coronavirus. As the virus enters the respiratory tract of infected people, the intake of alcohol will be rather harmful than of any help. However, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is surely a disinfectant and can avoid the spread of the virus.

Myth 2: The infection from the virus can be avoided by rubbing the bleaching powder or disinfectant on the body.

Clarification: This is completely a myth and rubbing the bleaching powder or disinfectant all over the body may cause skin irritation. Disinfectants are useful mainly to clean and disinfect surfaces like table, chair, mobile phones, metallic items and so on.

Myth 3: Many people think that if they get infected from coronavirus, they will die.

Clarification: This is not at all true. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is only 4%, however, the morbidity of the virus is very high and hence, patients might have to stay longer in the hospital. Many elderly patients and the ones with some co-morbid conditions might have to stay in the ICU unit for longer periods. However, do not take coronavirus infection as a death sentence.

Myth 4: People also think that the elderly patients are at more risk and the younger ones are safe from the coronavirus.

Clarification: Coronavirus is a type of viral infection that can affect people of all age groups. Even if you are younger, you can still have coronavirus infection. However, people with more than 60 years of age or the ones with any co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or the people who are heavy smokers, tend to have more harmful effects of coronavirus. In such patients, coronavirus may lead to pneumonia.

Myth 5: Bathing with saline or hot water can wipe out the coronavirus infection from the body.

Clarification: Once coronavirus has already entered the body it cannot be wiped out by taking a bath with saline or hot water. The human body maintains a normal temperature of 36.5°-37°C, irrespective of the outside temperature, and hence, the virus which has entered the body will not be affected by hot water.

Myth 6: People start taking antibiotics for treating viral infections.

Clarification: It needs to be clearly understood that the bacterial infection is different from a viral infection. Hence, antibiotics are not at all useful in cases of viral infections.

Myth 7: Can administering a pneumonia vaccine prevent from getting coronavirus or reduce the chances of complications?

Clarification: Pneumonia preventative vaccine cannot prevent coronavirus as this is a conjugate vaccine, which is helpful in cases of bacterial pneumonia. There is another type of vaccine available, which is an influenza vaccine and reduces the fatality rate and criticality of swine flu and influenza. However, there is no vaccine yet available for the COVID-19 disease.

Some precautions and measures can save you from infection and decrease the risk of the spread of the virus. Social isolation is a must. Stay at home and avoid going out in public places as much as possible. In case there is a need for essential travel, make sure to keep a hand sanitizer with you and wash hands repetitively. Do not wear the masks unnecessarily. Healthy individuals are not required to wear the masks and only the Healthcare providers or a caregiver, who will be taking care of the patients, should wear the masks. Stay away from the patient who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The patient should be kept under quarantine and isolation until completely cured.

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