Coronavirus Myths: Fact Vs. Fiction


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The coronavirus has infected millions of people globally and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. While news sources are reporting on the virus around-the-clock, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We’re here to tell you what’s true and what’s not.

News about the coronavirus is everywhere! But there are also a lot of myths circulating. The first: children can’t get the virus. Studies show kids are just as likely to contract COVID-19, but their symptoms are usually less severe. Another myth: face masks will safeguard you. Only surgical-grade masks fully protect. But if you have the infection, wearing a cloth mask may slow the spread to others. Another popular belief: the virus will die when temperatures warm up. Researchers still don’t know if this is the case.

“We have no history with it. We don’t know for sure if the warm weather is going to impact it or not,” said Raymond Pontzer, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UPMC.

Also, some people think the virus was originated in a lab in China. Despite the internet rumors, there is no evidence to show this is true. There are plenty of misconceptions about testing: you may have heard that the swab is better than the saliva test, but so far, the saliva tests have produced less false-positive results. Finally, our last myth: hand sanitizers won’t protect you against COVID. A recent study found alcohol-based sanitizers are effective at killing the novel coronavirus.

Another popular myth: applying alcohol or chlorine to your skin can destroy the virus. The truth: these chemicals cannot kill viruses in your body. In fact, they can cause serious harm, especially if they enter the eyes or mouth.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer. 

REPORT #2763

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person

to person. Symptoms can be mild to severe, or you may show no symptoms at all. You can become infected by coming into close contact with a person who has the virus; from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks; and by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. No vaccine is currently available to protect against COVID-19. It is recommended to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others; wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings; and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. It’s also important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


SOME CORONAVIRUS MYTH BUSTERS: The prolonged use of medical masks, when worn properly, does not cause CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency. Just make sure the mask fits properly and is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally. It’s recommended not to re-use a medical mask and to change it out as soon as it gets damp. Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19. The harmful use of alcohol increases your risk for health problems. Hot peppers in your food does not prevent or cure COVID-19. You can help protect yourself by staying six feet away from others and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently. Spraying bleach or another disinfectant into your body will not protect you against COVID-19. These should only be used to disinfect surfaces areas. Exposing yourself to the sun or very hot temperatures does not prevent or cure COVID-19. Several countries with hot weather have reported cases. And, being able to hold your breath for ten seconds or more without coughing does not mean you are free from the virus. The best way to confirm is with a laboratory test.


VACCINES AND TREATMENTS: Likely treatments for COVID-19 will be drugs that are already approved for other conditions or have been tested on other viruses. “People are looking into whether existing antivirals might work or whether new drugs could be developed to try to tackle the virus,” said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. Currently, there are two medications that have been recognized as emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA: the anti-viral remdesivir; and a drug used to sedate people on a ventilator. Doctors are given permission to use these drugs to treat people with COVID-19 even before the medications have gone through the FDA approval process when it is considered an EUA. Sorrento Therapeutics, a biotech company, revealed an antibody drug that has been effective in early testing in blocking the virus. These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see if they are effective. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be. “Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”


* For More Information, Contact:

Courtney Caprara, Public Relations Manager/UPMC

(412) 647-6190


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