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COVID-19 Myths and truths

This is a myth. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has observed that this infection can be transmitted in any and all areas regardless of climate.

This is a myth. There is no evidence whatsoever to prove this claim. While alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a recommended precaution against any virus, drinking alcohol while seeking to cure Covid-19 is the same as drinking alcohol-based hand sanitizer and expecting it to taste like a pint of beer.

This is a myth. It has been established that the novel coronavirus jumped species from an animal to a man and is originally a zoonotic disease. However, no known animal species has been known to carry this virus as of yet and medical experts have asked people not to believe in rumours and eat non-vegetarian meals as long as they are prepared with utmost care for hygiene.

This is a myth. Dr Faheem Younus, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland says that a person infected with the novel coronavirus can also hold his/her breath for longer than 10 seconds. On the other hand, the elderly will not be able to accomplish this task but it does not in any way mean that they are infected.

This is a myth. Director of AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria says that one should not visit a hospital during a pandemic since it increases the chances of a healthy person catching the virus. One should consult a doctor over the phone if he/she is experiencing any symptoms at all and seek future course of action.

This is a myth. No study or research has shown that mosquitoes can act as carriers of the novel coronavirus. "The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose," says WHO.

These are myths. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one should regularly wash one's hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Apart from this, neither a hand dryer nor an ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the virus.

This is a myth. While some preliminary research has shown that the novel coronavirus remains on certain surfaces such as cardboard for some time, it cannot spread through parcels received from China.

This is not entirely true. A thermal scanner detects body temperature and is great for identifying someone with a high fever; however, medical experts and doctors treating Covid-19 patients have said that initial research shows how people who display no symptoms can also be infected with the virus.

This is a myth. 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.

This is a myth. There is no drink hot or cold that will protect you from COVID-19 or cure the illness. So far, there’s no proven cure for COVID-19 but most people recover by themselves.

This is a myth. You shouldn’t use strong disinfectant to clean your body. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or rubbing an alcohol-based sanitizer on them will stop the virus spreading. Using stronger chemicals on your skin can be dangerous. Never drink disinfectant or hand sanitizer as this can do serious damage.

This is a myth. Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. Similarly, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that can support immune function. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic or lemon (or other foods for that matter) has protected people from the new coronavirus.

This is a myth. There is no evidence that regularly gargling has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. While this may help soothe a sore throat, this practice will not prevent the virus from entering your lungs—neither will drinking frequent sips of water.

This is a myth. People of ALL AGES can be infected by COVID-19. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example, by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

This is a myth. For a virus that our bodies have not seen before, such as the novel coronavirus, it doesn’t seem likely that there should be any component of immunity that might protect Indians but not others.

This is a myth. World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that they see no problem with having ibuprofen if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

This is a myth. While it is evident that young people have better immunity and may not get easily infected, they may act as a carrier, thereby risking the people around them. So, being young and healthy doesn’t mean you can escape both the disease as well as its consequences for others.

This is a myth. Clapping hands creates sound waves. The sound that is created is sensed through the vibrations of our eardrums which then create oscillations in the fluid in our inner ear. A virus is about a million times smaller than the size of the eardrum and would hardly even sense these vibrations. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this could be true.

This is not entirely true. While it is important that we hold on to our faith and get counseled through it, there are no reasons to believe that it can help cure the infection.

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