As the number of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19 rises, it’s understandable that everyone feels the need to constantly find new information regarding both the virus and the situation. But how reliable is the source you’re getting the information from? Here are some myth busters provided by the World Health Organization for the public.
- Weather does not kill the virus
There’s been a theory that the warm weather will stop the outbreak, but it’s important to remember that some countries that had been hit by the epidemics, like Singapore and Malaysia, have tropical weather all year round. Regardless of the external temperature and weather, our normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C.
- The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting COVID-19 cases
The new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for several hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), but it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures. There’s no reason to suspect that packages from a country with COVID-19 cases harbor the virus or to stop receiving packages, but you may use a disinfectant to clean them if you think the surface is contaminated.
- Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the coronavirus?
No, antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses. Since the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, it’s a different case if you are diagnosed and hospitalized for the virus. Then, you may be prescribed with antibiotics since bacterial coinfection is possible.
- Are thermal scanners effective in detecting people infected with coronavirus?
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever, which might or might be because of infection with the coronavirus. However, thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected but not feverish yet since it takes between 2 to 10 days for an infected person to develop a fever.
- Does the coronavirus affect a specific age group more than another?
People of all ages can be infected by the coronavirus, although older people or people with pre-existing medical conditions, like asthma, may be more vulnerable to the virus. WHO advises everyone, regardless of age, to protect themselves from the virus by following good hygiene practices.
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently washing your hands with soap and water or cleaning them with alcohol-based sanitizers. Be careful not to spread not just the virus, but also false information!