Ten coronavirus myths you should not fall for
As the world reels under the pressure to stem the spread of Covid-19, so does the spread of unfounded claims and conspiracy theories continue to spread. There is a lot of information and misinformation about the virus that the World Health Organisation calls ‘infodemic’. We compile common myths and misconceptions, and reasons they do not stack up scientifically
Antibiotics kill coronavirus
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. However, if you are hospitalised with Covid-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
If you can hold breath for 10 seconds, you don’t have it
They say if they can do it, it proves there’s no lung fibrosis and infection, but lung fibrosis has nothing to do with coronavirus infection.
Secondly, while serious Covid-19 infections would make it more difficult to hold breath, that doesn’t prove anything.
People could easily be infected to a lesser degree and still be able to hold their breath.
Corona virus lives in the throat so taking a lot of water will push the virus into the stomach where acids will kill it
The truth is that the virus may gain entry into the throat, but it penetrates into the host cells. You can’t wash it away. Excessive water will make you run into the toilet.
All social distancing is an overreaction. The virus won’t cause much damage
While Corona transmissions are still being analysed, researchers say its likely to spread from one person to another by water droplets discharged by sneezing or coughing of an infected person.
Social distancing is recommended as a tool of intervention to minimise the viral impact of the disease.
If we don’t see many infections, it will actually prove that social distancing worked and not that the virus is not a big deal.
Car accidents kill 30,000 people annually. What’s the big deal with Covid-19?
Car accidents are not contagious, their fatalities don’t double after three days, and they don’t cause massive panic or market crush.
Hand sanitisers are better than soap and water
Soap and water actually kills and washes away the virus from the skin plus it also cleans visible soiling.
The virus will die off when temperatures rise
Some viruses, such as cold and flu viruses, do spread more easily in the colder months, but that does not mean they stop entirely when conditions become milder.
As it stands, scientists do not know how temperature changes will influence the behaviour of Covid-19.
The virus is fatal
While the official statements estimate the death rate to be around three to four per cent globally, people who get the virus will typically get sick with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to that of a cold.
Most of it will just go away on its own. It can be fatal in rare cases, such as when an individual has a weakened immune system, or the person is elderly or very young.
There is a chance that the virus can cause a lower and much more serious respiratory tract disease like bronchitis or pneumonia.
You have to be with someone for 10 minutes to catch the virus
The longer someone is with an infected person, the more likely they are to catch the virus, but it is still possible to catch it in less than 10 minutes.
Face masks protect against the virus
Healthcare workers use professional face masks, which fit tightly around the face, to protect them against infection.
However, disposable face masks are unlikely to provide such protection. As these masks do not fit neatly against the face, droplets can still enter the mouth and nose.
Also, tiny viral particles can penetrate directly through the material. However, if someone has a respiratory illness, wearing a mask can help protect others from becoming infected.