Common Myths & Reality surrounding Coronavirus

Myth: There are medicines available that can treat coronavirus

Reality: There are no medicines available that can treat coronavirus. However, there are medicines that infected people may need to help relieve and treat symptoms. Some medicines can help people feel better or recover faster. It is important to take the medicines that a qualified doctor prescribes to help deal with the infection.

Myth: Antibiotics can treat coronavirus.

Reality: Antibiotics cannot treat coronavirus. Coronavirus is a virus. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria – not viruses. However, if a person is infected, one may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible and it is important to prevent or treat co-infections.

Myth: Taking a hot bath helps protect against coronavirus.

Reality: Taking a hot bath does not help protect against coronavirus. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Myth: Coronavirus only spreads in hot and humid climates.

Reality: Coronavirus can spread in all areas. Spread of coronavirus does not depend on heat or humidity.

Myth: Coronavirus is only an issue affecting Karachi and Sindh.

Reality: Coronavirus is not an issue affecting only Karachi and Sindh. Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in all parts of Pakistan, including in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, etc. People in all areas need to take necessary precautions.

Myth: Coronavirus is necessarily fatal and all affected die.

Reality: Coronavirus is not necessarily fatal. It is a very serious disease and may need extensive medical care, including hospitalization. However, it does not always result in fatality especially if necessary medical care is provided. The effects are more severe on older people or people with pre-existing conditions. While it is difficult to say exactly at this time, between three and four percent of affected persons may ultimately die. Of these, about 80% may be expected to be persons 60 years and older.

Myth: Coronavirus is a Chinese disease/Coronavirus affects only Chinese or European people.

Reality: Coronavirus is not a disease linked with any race or ethnicity and can affect persons of any race and ethnicity.

Myth: Gargling with bleach can help protect against coronavirus.

Reality: Gargling with bleach can help protect against coronavirus. Bleach can be harmful to you. It is not recommended to gargle with bleach at all.

Note: Chloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19. Its authentic reference is in “NATURE”.

Stop: Plus stop use of ibuprofen, it can endanger more.

Myth: Pneumonia vaccines, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), are effective in protecting against coronavirus.

Reality: Pneumonia vaccines, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), are not effective in protecting against coronavirus at all. Coronavirus needs its own vaccine. At this time, there is no vaccine available for coronavirus.

Myth: China and America are developing vaccines which will be available soon.

Reality: While it is true that scientists are working on vaccines in China, America, Germany and several other countries, even the vaccines in their most advanced stages of development are just in their clinical trial phase. After testing, a vaccine needs to be mass produced and shipped to different parts of the globe. Once in a location, millions of residents need to be inoculated. This process will take time. It is difficult to say how quickly this process may be completed. However, 18 months or so, is a more realistic timeframe for this to happen.

Myth: Eating garlic helps protect against coronavirus.

Reality: Garlic is a healthy food which has antimicrobial properties. There is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus. It may improve the immunity system of a person but will not help in fully dealing with the virus.

Myth: Regularly rinsing nose with saline water helps protect against coronavirus.

Reality: No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.

Myth: Coronavirus only affects old people. 

Reality: People of all ages can be affected by coronavirus. Older people have greater difficulty in recovering from the disease. This may be because of frailty, less immune capacity, a pre-existing condition, et al. However, this does not mean that young people cannot get affected from the virus.

Myth: Taking steroids or ascetic acid will help protect against coronavirus.

Reality: There is no evidence to suggest that taking steroids or acetic acid will help protect against coronavirus.

Myth: The new coronavirus was deliberately created or spread by humans. 

Reality: Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.

Myth: A face mask is a necessity and guarantees protection against coronavirus.

Reality: Tight-fitting masks (such as the N95) can protect healthcare workers as they care for infected patients. For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.

People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.

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