COVID-19 Myths Debunked by the World Health Organization
The coronavirus is one of the most covered topics by media outlets to date—but it’s also been the subject of much misinformation. The World Health Organization has set many myths straight.
The World Health Organization (WHO) ultimately works to protect the health of the globe—and that includes disproving the false claims behind COVID-19. You’ve probably heard the never-ending reminders to wash your hands and maintain social distancing, but the internet is full of false information on how to stay virus-free.
Here are the WHO’s coronavirus myth busters, explained:
1. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates.
From the evidence so far, the virus can be transmitted in all areas—including hot and humid areas. A specific climate does not protect you more or less from the virus, and washing your hands is the best way to avoid infection.
2. Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
Same with the answer above with hot or humid weather, the coronavirus can be transmitted in all climates. The most effective way to protect yourself against the virus is by washing your hands.
3. Taking a bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease.
Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19—especially because your body temperature remains about the same regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower.
4. COVID-19 CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
To date, there has been no information or evidence to suggest that the new virus could be transmitted by mosquitos. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
5. Hand dryers are not effective in killing COVID-19.
It is most effective to frequently clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
6. Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
The WHO says UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
7. Vaccines against pneumonia cannot protect you against the new coronavirus.
Vaccines against pneumonia, like pneumococcal vaccine and the Hib vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.
8. Regularly rinsing your nose with saline will not prevent infection from the new coronavirus.
There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that doing so can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
9. Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the coronavirus. However, older people with pre-existing medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
10. Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
There has been a number of other false claims about how to prevent against or treat the new coronavirus, including one situation where a CVS medical officer falsely claimed the virus could be killed by drinking warm water.
The World Health Organization provides many other useful pieces of information regarding the new coronavirus, including information on when and how to use masks, advice for healthcare workers and tips on getting workplaces ready.
By and large, it is important that you get accurate and appropriate information from trusted sources on the new coronavirus. In this age of false news, misinformation could be detrimental to people’s health.