As the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the globe, the World Health Organization has deployed hundreds of doctors and researchers to work to find the cause of the virus and to help slow it’s spread.
Because COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus, many have questions as to what the virus does and how they can protect themselves from it. In addition to questions, the WHO has begun to hear myths about the virus and has issued a fact sheet to try to stem the tide of misinformation.
Here are some of those myths about COVID-19 and the WHO’s answer to them.
1. Hand dryers are effective in killing the new coronavirus.
No, hand dryers are not effective in killing a virus. The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Then use a hand dryer or a paper towel to dry your hands.
2. Ultraviolet disinfection lamps kill COVID-19
No, ultraviolet lamps will not kill the virus and they can cause skin irritation.
3. Spraying alcohol or chlorine bleach on yourself can kill the virus.
No. They won’t kill the virus, and they will burn your skin. You can, however, use those substances to clean surfaces in your home or office that could have the virus on them.
4. It’s unsafe to open a package from China.
Yes, it is safe to open it. Coronaviruses do not survive long on objects like letters or packages.
5. I can get the coronavirus from my pet.
According to the WHO, there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
6. The pneumonia vaccine provides protection against COVID-19.
There is no vaccine yet that protects against the coronavirus, including pneumonia viruses. Researchers have said they believe a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available in about a year.
7. Saline rinses help kill the virus.
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing your nostrils with saline offers any protection against the new coronavirus.
8. The coronavirus is only dangerous for older people and those who have pre-existing medical conditions.
No, the coronavirus can affect anyone. Older people and those with certain medical conditions appear more vulnerable to the virus, according to the WHO.
9. Antibiotics will help if you get the virus.
No, COVID-19 is a virus. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
10. Medicine given after the virus can cure it.
There is no medicine that will prevent the virus. The medicines used after a person gets the virus are aimed at treating the symptoms. Researchers are working on a vaccine against the virus.