The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette.
Here are some facts and myths regarding the virus that are often found on social media and other mediums.
Fact: Hand sanitizers can be used often
An alcohol-based sanitizer does not create antibiotic resistance. Unlike other antiseptics and antibiotics, pathogens (harmful germs) do not seem to develop resistance to alcohol-based sanitizers. Alcohols in the sanitizers have not been shown to create any relevant health issues. Little alcohol is absorbed into the skin, and most products contain an emollient to reduce skin dryness. Allergic contact dermatitis and bleaching of hand hair due to alcohol are very rare adverse effects. Accidental swallowing and intoxication have been described in rare cases.
Fact: It is safer to clean hands frequently and not wear gloves
Wearing gloves risks transferring germs from one surface to another and contaminating your hands when removing them. Wearing gloves does not replace cleaning hands. Health workers wear gloves only for specific tasks.
Fact: Clinical trials confirm hydroxychloroquine does not prevent illness or death from Covid-19
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, a common treatment for malaria and certain autoimmune diseases, has been studied as a preventative treatment for Covid-19. Evidence from these studies shows that hydroxychloroquine has little to no impact on illness, hospitalization, or death.
Fact: Vitamin and mineral supplements can not cure Covid-19
Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C and zinc, are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being. There is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of Covid-19.
WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat Covid-19.
Fact: Studies show Hydroxychloroquine doesn't have benefits in curing Covid-19
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, a treatment for malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis, has been under study as a possible treatment for Covid-19. Current data shows that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalised Covid-19 patients, nor help people with moderate disease.* The use of hydoxychloroquine and chloroquine is accepted as generally safe for patients with malaria and autoimmune diseases, but its use where not indicated and without medical supervision can cause serious side effects and should be avoided.
* More decisive research is needed to assess its value in patients with mild disease or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to Covid-19.
Fact: People should not wear masks while excersising
People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.
Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.
Fact: Water or swimming does not transmit the virus
The Covid-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming. However, the virus spreads between people when someone has close contact with an infected person.
Fact: The likelihood of shoes spreading Covid-19 is very low
The likelihood of Covid-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home. This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes.
Fact: The disease is caused by a virus, not bacteria
The virus that causes Covid-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
Some people who become ill with Covid-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider.
There is currently no licensed medication to cure Covid-19. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider or Covid-19 hotline for assistance.
Fact: Prolonged use of medical masks does not lead to oxygen deficiency
The prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. While wearing a medical mask, make sure it fits properly and that it is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally. Do not re-use a disposable mask and always change it as soon as it gets damp.
Fact: Thermal scanners can not detect Covid-19
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with Covid-19. There are many causes of fever. Call your healthcare provider if you need assistance or seek immediate medical care if you have fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue.
Fact: 5G mobile signals do not spread the virus
Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
Covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)