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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

we bust the fake stories that have been travelling the internet concerning coronavirus
With so many sources of information on paper and online and in the media, there is the problem of misinformation being spread about COVID-19.

Therefore, we have compiled a list of the most common claims which are either untrue or do not tell the full story.

Temperature makes little difference

There have been suggestions that COVID-19 cannot survive or spread in hot and humid weather but the truth is that it can be transmitted in any area of the world regardless of the hot temperature.

Similarly, there is nothing to suggest that cold weather can kill off the virus because the body temperature of humans remains in the same range no matter the climate; this means that a hot bath will have no effect either.

There is nothing at the moment that can kill the virus

There is currently no specific medicines to treat people with the virus and there is no cure. Therefore any myth that something can kill the virus is wrong.

Cold weather, hand dryers and UV lamps are also ineffective against the virus; UV lamps shouldn’t be used for sterilisation as this can cause skin irritation.

While alcohol and chlorine can be effective at disinfecting surfaces, spraying it onto your body will make no difference if the virus is already in your body.

Learn more about treatment here.

It can’t be spread by mosquitoes

Although no-one can be entirely sure how the virus is spread, the theory is that it is spread by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing and there is nothing to suggest mosquitoes can transmit it.

Thermal scanners cannot detect the virus in people before they know it

Thermal scanners can be used to detect people who have already developed a fever which would indicate a person was already suffering from the virus.

Everybody can contract the disease

While it may be true that the effects of the virus may be more severe on the elderly and those with medical problems, young and healthy people can catch the virus too.

Although the risk of death is lower, deaths have been reported across all age ranges in the world. Check symptoms here.

It IS more dangerous than flu

Some people believe that there is little difference between winter flu and COVID-19. This is because both can cause death but the death rate is low for both at the moment.

However, the early signs are is that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will rise higher than influenza.

Face masks alone won’t prevent you from catching COVID-19

The use of face masks is irrelevant without following other hygiene procedures to the point where The World Health Organisation doesn’t recommend the use of face masks for those who aren’t currently sick.

Instead, face masks should be used by those already infected or for those who care for infected. Learn more here.

Self-isolation and regular washing are the only true prevention methods

It has been suggested that vaccines against pneumonia and rinsing your nose with saline are a couple of prevention methods but there is nothing to support this idea.

As well as debunking some of these myths, the World Health Organisation repeats the call for people to regularly clean their hands with Hunter Medical’s alcohol hand sanitiser or washing them with soap and water while avoiding people who are ill and self-isolating if ill.

This is recommended as a solution rather than the quick-fix solutions these myths may offer.