There seems to be no end to the number of COVID-19 cases being tested positive every single day. But as rapidly as the disease spreads, the information about the coronavirus spreads as quickly. With so much misinformation circulating on social media and the internet, it’s difficult for us to know what’s real and what’s not. Fear not though! Here we debunk the most common myths around the novel coronavirus.
Myth 1: A Cure for Coronavirus Exists
There is currently no cure for COVID-19. There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or cure the novel coronavirus. However, you may need appropriate care to relieve the symptoms if you are infected. If you have any symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention, ideally through an initial, remote consultation with a doctor on Veera. That said, some specific drugs are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.
Myth 2: Young People are Immune to Coronavirus
Younger people are just as susceptible to the virus as older people and may suffer serious consequences. In fact, in India, younger patients between 20-39 years of age comprise almost half (43%) of confirmed cases . Across the world, relatively young individuals between the ages of 20-40 have gotten hospitalized for complications caused by the coronavirus. Complications among younger people can also be severe, such as strokes and organ failure, but are more rare than in older populations.
Global statistics still place older adults at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with the coronavirus. However, young people may simply remain undiagnosed as the symptoms are less severe. It’s important to understand that the young can put older adults or those with medical complications (e.g. diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease) at a higher risk of infection.
Myth 3: Eating Garlic Can Protect Against Coronavirus
You must have got hundreds of WhatsApp forwards claiming that garlic can prevent coronavirus. Sure, garlic has antimicrobial properties but there is no evidence that it can protect you from the virus. Garlic cannot keep you from contracting a disease.
Myth 4: Drinking Hot Water Can Kill the Virus
Nine out of ten people infected with coronavirus experience cough, mild fever, sore throat, headache and body ache. Drinking warm water will surely make you feel better, but it will not cure the condition. Some also believe that a hot shower can kill the virus. But regardless of the temperature of the water, your body temperature remains at 37-degree Celsius.
Myth 5: Eating Chicken Can Give You Coronavirus
Coronavirus does not spread through eating chicken, mutton or fish. So, avoiding chicken and switching to the vegetarian meat-alternative jackfruit does not mean that you are safe. You can get the infection only when you come in contact with the respiratory droplets of an infected person.
Myth 6: Coronavirus Can be Transmitted Through Packages Shipped from China
It is not possible for Amazon to ship coronavirus. While the germs can survive on surfaces for a long time, environmental conditions like temperature, humidity and UV light exposure largely impacts the survival of the pathogens. Moreover, the virus has been proven to survive on cardboard, like that used in shipping packages, only for 24 hours. The days-long journey that the package will undergo to reach you will kill any pathogens.
Myth 7: Pets Cannot Contract and Spread Coronavirus
Domestic animals getting infected is currently a major concern. While there has been evidence that coronavirus can infect pigs, cows and bats, now there are confirmed cases in dogs and cats. While dogs are seemed to be more resistant to the virus, cats may possibly pass coronavirus. The bigger worry is that coronavirus is zoonotic which means that they can be passed between animals and humans
Stay home and keep six feet distance or more from other people when you must step out to buy your essential items. Also, ensure that you wash your hands and disinfect surfaces like doorknobs and your mobile phone screens regularly.
Stay safe, Veera ladies!
Reviewed by: Dr. Shailly Prasad, Resident Physician, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Disclaimer: Content on Veera is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical advice given by a physician
Image credits: Cleveland Clinic