New Delhi: The coronavirus outbreak that had brought the whole world to a complete standstill has also peddled several myths on social media platforms.
Globally, over 15 lakh people have succumbed to COVID-19 and there have been more than 6.4 crores confirmed cases, as reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).
As the virus is still out there and people across the world fear of contracting it, here are various myths and facts about the cure and spread of the virus:
1. Do vitamin and mineral supplements cure COVID-19?
The answer is NO. The Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C and zinc, are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being. However, there is presently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a cure for coronavirus.
2. Hydroxychloroquine has clinical benefits in treating COVID-19?
No, the hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, a treatment for malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis, has been under study as a possible treatment for COVID-19 but the current data shows that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalised COVID-19 patients, nor help people with moderate disease. This is to be noted that the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine is accepted as generally safe for patients with malaria and autoimmune diseases, but its use was not indicated and without medical supervision can cause serious side effects and should be avoided. According to the WHO, more decisive research is needed to assess its value in patients with mild disease or as pre-or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to COVID-19.
3. Should people wear masks while exercising?
As most of the countries have reopened their parks and gyms following months of closure due to coronavirus outbreak, people have a question whether they should put masks while exercising outside or not. As per WHO, people should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain a physical distance of at least one meter from others.
4. Do shoes spread COVID-19?
The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving the shoes at the entrance of the home as it will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes.
5. Do people who contract COVID-19 recover from it?
Yes, most people who contract coronavirus have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover with a help of supportive care. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first. If you have a fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue, seek medical care immediately.
6. Does drinking alcohol protect you against COVID-19?
As per WHO, drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous. The harmful use of alcohol increases your risk of health problems.
7. Adding pepper to your soup or other meals prevents or cures COVID-19?
Hot peppers in your food could be helpful in making your food tasty, but they CANNOT prevent or cure coronavirus.
8. Eating garlic prevents COVID-19?
There is NO evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus.
9. Do thermal scanners detect COVID-19?
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (ie have a higher than normal body temperature) but they CANNOT detect people who are infected with COVID-19.
10. COVID-19 transmits through houseflies or mosquitoes?
According to WHO, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through houseflies or mosquitoes. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks or you can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
11. Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach prevents or cures COVID-19?
The answer is NO. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons and drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however, one should never drink them as they will not kill the virus in your body and will harm your internal organs.
13. 5G mobile networks spread coronavirus?
Viruses CANNOT travel on radio waves or mobile networks and the COVID-19 is also reportedly spreading in numerous countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
14. Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures higher than 25°C protects you from COVID-19?
“You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is,” said WHO adding that the countries with hot weather have also reported cases of COVID-19.
15. Cold weather and snow kill coronavirus?
According to WHO, there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.
16. Does taking a hot bath prevent COVID-19?
NO, taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19.
17. Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort means you don’t have COVID-19?
This is a myth as being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from COVID-19.
18. Are there currently any drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19?
The answer is NO. While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent coronavirus.
According to WHO, to prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:
1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
2. Maintain at least 1-metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
3. Avoid touching your face.
4. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
5. Stay home if you feel unwell.
6. Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
7. Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.