If you have been told that if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you do not have coronavirus, you must take it with a pinch of salt (not bleach). And then if someone tells you ingesting bleach can kill coronavirus, it is definitely time to run in the opposite direction. Thanks to the potent combination of social media and mischief-makers, there are an endless number of myths floating around on COVID-19. From drinking alcohol to fight corona to thermal scanner detecting the virus, take your pick.
In order to bust some free-floating myths on coronavirus, here are some fact checks:
1. MYTH: High temperatures will spell the end for coronavirus
FACT: While it is true that some flu viruses spread more easily during winters, there are no researches so far to indicate that high temperatures can wipe off coronavirus. In fact, some of the warmer countries have reported a high number of coronavirus cases.
2. MYTH: Holding breath for 10 seconds indicates you are free from coronavirus
FACT: No, being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds without discomfort does not mean you don't have coronavirus. In fact, no breathing exercise can help you determine if you are infected. The only way to diagnose is to get a test done.
3. MYTH: Thermal scanners can detect coronavirus
FACT: Thermal scanners can pick up only a symptom -- ie. fever. The idea is to alert and isolate people with fever and get tests done to ensure whether they have coronavirus.
4. MYTH: Ingesting bleach or methanol can prevent coronavirus
FACT: This is not only false but also dangerous advice. Bleach is a corrosive and can lead to lasting damage to the body and even death. These can, however, be used to clean surfaces but there should be no consumption at any cost.
5. MYTH: Only older or younger people can get infected
FACT: Coronavirus can infect people of all ages, so to assume that one is safe due to his or age is extremely misleading. In fact, people who have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to the virus, irrespective of their age.
6. MYTH: Prolonged use of masks can cause CO2 intoxication
FACT: While the prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency. Nevertheless, the wearer must remember to use a mask that fits properly in order to breathe normally.
7. MYTH: Children are immune to coronavirus
FACT: While most cases have been reported in adults, children are not immune to the virus. Preliminary research in fact indicated that children are as likely to get infected by coronavirus.
8. MYTH: Cats and dogs can spread coronavirus
FACT: There is little evidence to suggest that cats and dogs can spread COVID-19. While there have been a few cases where cats and dog have been detected with corona, Prof Jonathan Ball, from University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom has said that it is necessary to distinguish between the presence of the virus and the infection.
9. MYTH: Hand dryers kill coronavirus
FACT: No, hand dryers do not kill COVID-19. Thoroughly washing hands with soap and using hand sanitiser can help in protecting oneself.
10. MYTH: Contact of 10 mins needed for infection
FACT: There is no rule stating that only after being with someone for 10 mins, one can catch coronavirus. The longer one spends, the higher the risk of coronavirus but one can catch coronavirus in less than 10 mins as well.
11. MYTH: Antibiotics can kill coronavirus
FACT: Antibiotics are for bacteria and COVID-19 is a virus. So, antibiotics cannot kill coronavirus.
12. MYTH: Some home remedies can protect against coronavirus
FACT: No home remedy can help prevent infection, including consuming garlic or Vitamin C or water every 15 mins. The best approach is still a good hand-washing routine and face masks.
13. MYTH: Pneumonia vaccine can prevent coronavirus
FACT: Vaccine against pneumonia and influenza type B cannot provide protection against coronavirus. Researchers are still working to find a vaccine for COVID-19.