13 false claims about the coronavirus that you should not believe or share

The new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, are still largely unknown by health authorities and the general populace.

For this reason, the entire world is in alarm and pending the information being disseminated regarding this new pandemic. However, it is important to pay attention only to information shared from official sources, as the social media have quickly been inundated with fake news about how to stop the spread of the coronavirus and how to treat COVID-19.

Fake news is high risk, especially in the health field, since it has a direct impact on people’s health and well-being. We must therefore isolate the myths now being shared:

  1. MYTH. Coronavirus is like the flu
    We must avoid comparing both diseases.
    While it is true that many young and healthy people exposed to the coronavirus will experience symptoms much like those of seasonal flu, the two diseases are different.
    COVID-19 is much more contagious than influenza, and has a higher mortality rate. It is also still a very unknown disease for which there is no vaccine.
  2. MYTH. If I use a mask, I won’t get it
    According to the WHO, the use of masks should be limited to people infected, or who might be infected, and healthy people in direct contact with them. Furthermore, they are only effective if used and disposed of correctly, and are combined with frequent hand washing with soap and water or disinfectant gel.
  3. MYTH. The coronavirus pandemic will slow in the summer due to the heat
    The flu virus and colds weaken after the arrival of spring, due to the higher temperatures.
    However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned that there is no scientific evidence to say that the coronavirus will also weaken with higher temperatures.
  4. MYTH. The coronavirus is transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
    The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in any area, regardless of its climate.
  5. MYTH. The coronavirus can be spread over great distances through the air
    Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread primarily by contact with an infected person through droplets that spread when a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes.
    These droplets are too heavy to spread over great distances through the air.
  6. MYTH. Antibiotics are effective in preventing and treating coronavirus infection
    Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Since the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus, antibiotics should not be used to prevent or treat infection.
  7. MYTH. Pets can transmit the coronavirus
    The WHO has reported that there is no scientific evidence that pets suffer from or can transmit COVID-19.
  8. MYTH. A mosquito bite can transmit COVID-19
    Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread primarily by contact with an infected person through droplets that spread when a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes.
    There is no information or evidence to indicate that it can be transmitted by a mosquito bite.
  9. MYTH. Children are immune to the coronavirus
    According to current data, only 2% of registered cases occur in children. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, the disease occurs in them without any complications.
    COVID-19 thus seems to be milder adults, but they are not immune.
    Also, keep in mind that children can transmit the infection to adults, and adults can develop more serious complications.
  10. MYTH. Pregnant women transmit the coronavirus to the foetus
    According to the WHO, early research indicates that the virus does not pass into the amniotic fluid that surrounds babies in the womb or in the blood in the umbilical cord.
    The main risk in babies being fed by mothers with COVID-19 is that close contact could allow the transmission of droplets. Therefore, it is advisable to wash your hands before touching the baby and the breast pump or bottles, and consider using a mask while breastfeeding.
  11. MYTH. I can get coronavirus twice
    It is still too early to give a sure answer. However, experts agree that people who are infected with COVID-19 will be immunised to the virus this season.
    It is true that there have been cases of people discharged who have tested positive again after a few days. Here the experts point out that, although the studies are still under way, it is most likely a “rebound” of the virus and not a reinfection.
    However, the WHO recommends patients who have overcome the disease to remain in isolation for 14 days, to confirm that there are no signs of infection.
  12. MYTH. A good diet can prevent coronavirus
    People cannot avoid coronavirus infection through diet. However, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet is of positive importance in keeping the immune system strong.
  13. MYTH. Drinking hot water or infusions fights the coronavirus
    Drinking hot liquids does not change the person’s actual body temperature. The WHO warns that there is no scientific evidence to say that high temperatures kill the coronavirus.
    Nor gargling with mouthwash. These can kill certain micro-organisms in the saliva. But, gargling does not prevent the virus from reaching the respiratory system and therefore does not protect us from coronavirus infection.