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What's True and What's Not? 10 COVID-19 Myths Busted by Science (Part 1)

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

As the novel coronavirus continues to make and spread the news worldwide, misinformation and myths have been rolling out fast too. With the flood of news, articles, and social media posts online about the pandemic, it is hard to determine which are facts and which are not. So today, we talk about the myths and conspiracy theories about the outbreak. Some rumors may be true sometimes, but we will find out why these rumors about COVID-19 are just plain wrong.

Myth: Only older people or kids are at risk of the coronavirus.

Fact: It is true that older adults, children, and people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other respiratory problems are most likely to become infected and severely ill. But just like any other coronaviruses, COVID-19 can infect people of any age.

Myth: COVID-19 is only a mutated form of the common cold.

Fact: COVID-19 is not a mutated form of the common cold. The virus has similarities with other coronaviruses - a large family of viruses with various diseases. They have spiky projections on their surfaces called "spike proteins" that infect host cells. Viruses like the HKU1, 229E, NL63, and OC43  use humans as their main hosts. 90% of the genetics of SARS-CoV-2 has shared the material with coronaviruses that can infect bats. Evidence suggests that the virus originated in bats and infected humans.

Myth: Your pets can infect humans with the novel coronavirus and can spread it.

Fact: There have been a few cases of cats and dogs that were infected with the virus after contact with their infected owner. However, there is still no evidence that pets can spread it to people. Just always wash your hands after playing or snuggling with your pets as animals can spread other diseases to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine on your skin can kill the viruses in your body.

Fact: Alcohol and chlorine can be used to disinfect surfaces, gadgets, and kitchen utensils, and you can sanitize your hands with some alcohol. But applying alcohol and chlorine to your body can be dangerous especially if it gets into your mouth or eyes. They cannot kill COVID-19 and other viruses with the body.

Myth: You will know it if you have COVID-19.

Fact: With a wide range of symptoms, it has hard to determine if you are infected with COVID-19. Some symptoms also appear in other respiratory illnesses like the common cold and flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, body or muscle pain, difficulty breathing, and headache are some of the symptoms you may have when you become infected with the virus. But some infected people may show no symptoms at all.

Wearing face masks will always protect you against COVID-19.

We always wear disposable and cloth masks every time we go out and are in contact with other people to protect ourselves and the others against droplets, however, these masks cannot protect us against aerosolized particles. It is recommended that even you are wearing a mask, continue practicing safety precautions like avoiding touching your face and always practicing physical distancing.

Myth: Don't receive packages from China or other countries and places with many confirmed cases of coronavirus for it is not safe.

Fact: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is safe to receive a package from China and other places. The virus cannot survive long on objects like packages and letters. Similar to MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, the novel coronavirus is likely to survive poorly on surfaces. So there is a very low risk of spread from packages that are shipped over a period of weeks or days.

Myth: Antibiotics can kill the virus.

Fact: No, they don't. Antibiotics only kill bacteria, it cannot kill coronavirus.

Myth: Home remedies can cure and protect you from coronavirus.

Fact: No, they cannot. Taking vitamin C, drinking plenty of water, burning sage, and other home remedies cannot cure nor protect you against the virus. It is best to wash your hands for about 20 seconds regularly and avoid going to places with many sick people.

With a lot of information circulating about the novel coronavirus, it is important to find out what is true and what is not. This is only the first part, visit Cleaning know more myths about COVID-19 that were busted by science.