12 Coronavirus Myths Busted! : Coronavirus Myths You Should Know About
In times of crisis, fake information is often on the rise. In this article, we tackle the most popular coronavirus myths and find out how true they are.
Not everyone in Nigeria would’ve forgotten the outbreak of Ebola and the drama that followed involving people bathing with salt at midnight. It is quite common for a few myths to follow every new disease that emerges. In this article we explore some coronavirus myths and whether there’s any truth to them or not.
12 Coronavirus myths you should know about
For this article, we want to clarify that COVID-19 (coronavirus) is the name of the disease. While SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes the disease.
Myths usually surface from a place of fear; the fear of the unknown. Which ends up either spreading more fear or making things worse. In this age of social media, all it takes to spread myths are a few posts online and then you have people calling their loved ones who aren’t online to let them know. This article will help you separate fiction from fact.
- Face masks can protect you
Those face masks people rush to buy at local drugstores can’t solely protect anyone from coronavirus. However, the mask is useful for people who already have the virus. It prevents the spread of the virus by blocking any respiratory droplets from their mouths. But you have to engage in other healthy practices like washing your hands and more.
- You’re less likely to get coronavirus than the flu
Another myth that needs to be put straight is the one about people believing that you’re less likely to get coronavirus virus than the flu. That isn’t necessarily true. Scientists have checked how easily the virus spreads by calculating its basic reproduction number. The coronavirus is currently estimated at 2.2, which means one person can infect 2.2 other people on average. The flu currently stands at 1.3.
- The virus is just another form of the common cold
The talk of the coronavirus virus being just another form of the common cold is a myth. The coronavirus belongs to a large family of viruses that includes many different diseases. While SARS-CoV-2 does share similarities with other coronaviruses, it doesn’t utilize humans as primary hosts like coronavirus.
- The virus was made in a lab
There’s a conspiracy theory going around that the virus was created in a lab in a deliberate attempt to infect people. This isn’t true. There’s not a piece of single evidence supporting this assumption. However, the present virus shares some characteristics with other natural coronaviruses that have gone from bats to humans in recent decades.
- Coronavirus infection means certain death
One of the pieces of information that has caused panic is the one going around saying a coronavirus infection is a death sentence. That’s simply untrue. According to a study by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, about 81% of people who are infected with the coronavirus have mild cases of COVID-19. This simply means that people who have died from it so far are mostly people with underlying health problems or the elderly.
- Pets can spread the virus
No evidence suggests that your pet can infect you with the virus. Experts are not even sure that dogs and cats can even catch the virus, let alone spread it to humans. In Hongkong, a dog tested weak positive from the virus, but experts aren’t sure if it picked the virus from a contaminated surface. The dog was taken into quarantine but was found to have no symptoms. To be safe, wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.
- Shutdown of schools is inevitable
During outbreaks, health officials shut down schools temporarily to prevent further spread. This has happened in the past and may happen again. Though the coronavirus is different in symptoms, transmission and incubation period, have it in mind that schools may close if the outbreak continues.
- Children cannot catch the coronavirus
Contrary to popular belief, no evidence suggests that children cannot catch the coronavirus. Children can definitely catch the virus, though some early statistics suggest they may be less likely to catch the virus than adults. However, children seem to show fewer symptoms, which means they could be passing the virus along without showing any symptoms themselves.
- You’ll know if you catch the coronavirus
This is simply not true. People with coronavirus show many symptoms that share similarities with other respiratory illnesses. Those symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a runny nose. This makes it harder to diagnose on your own. So if you live in an infected area and have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
- Coronavirus is less deadly than the flu
Based on the evidence so far, coronavirus is deadlier than the flu. In comparison to the flu, a recent study puts coronavirus at 2.3%, a mortality rate that’s 20 times higher than the flu.
- It’s not safe to receive a package from China
There’s talk that if you receive a package from China you may catch the virus, this isn’t true. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is absolutely safe to receive packages or letters from China. Studies have shown that the virus doesn’t survive for long on letters or packages.
- You’re not free to eat Chinese cuisine
You can eat Chinese cuisine in Nigeria without fear of catching the virus. The virus may have started in China but this doesn’t mean it finds a way to get into anything that’s associated with the Chinese.
Overall, continue to take precautions by washing your hands thoroughly and regularly, reducing face to face meetings and gatherings. If you have flu-like symptoms and you’re not sure, seek medical attention immediately.
Which other coronavirus myths have you come across? Let us know in the comment section!