According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most people infected with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without any special treatment. Older people are likely to be seriously affected if they have underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer. The best way to protect yourself and others is to maintain social-distancing, wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based rub frequently, and avoid touching your face.
The WHO’s COVID-19 MythBusters page brings up some misconceptions and facts that you must know about COVID-19 to avoid panic and stay safe.
Misconceptions about COVID 19
- Wearing mask is necessary while exercising
While exercising, it is not necessary to wear a mask. If you wear a mask while exercising, it will reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. The mask may also get wet quickly and promote the growth of microorganisms. The only thing you should take care of during exercise is to maintain physical distance of 1 meter from others.
- COVID-19 can spread through shoes
The chances of COVID-19 spreading through shoes is very low. However, as a precaution, people who have infants and small children in their homes, are advised to leave their footwear outside their home. This will prevent contact with dirt and waste that could be carried on shoes.
- Drinking alcohol can protect you from COVID-19
Drinking alcohol cannot protect you from COVID-19. In fact, it can be dangerous. Too much alcohol consumption increases your risk of having health problems.
- Exposing yourself to the sun can reduce the risk of COVID-19
Exposing yourself to the sun or temperature above 25C degree cannot prevent COVID-19. No matter how sunny or hot the weather is, you cannot the reduce the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Countries with hot weather have reported COVID-19 cases. To protect yourself, maintain personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- COVID-19 spreads through food
There is no evidence to prove that COVID-19 can spread through food. COVID-19 causes respiratory illness and the primary transmission mode is person-to-person contact and droplets transmission when a person comes in direct contact with someone has respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing.
- COVID-19 is airborne
Based on a review of available evidence, the WHO has clarified that coronavirus is not airborne. The only way you can get the infection is after coming in close contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces that have respiratory droplets of a coronavirus patient. No cases of airborne transmission were reported in an analysis of 75,465 COVID-19 cases in China.
- If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without difficulty means you are free from COVID-19
If you are able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without any difficulty such as coughing or any other discomfort, it doesn’t mean that you are free from COVID-19 or any other lung disease. The most common symptoms of the disease are dry cough, tiredness and fever, with some people developing more severe forms of the disease like pneumonia. The best way to confirm whether you are infected is to get a laboratory test done.
Other Facts About COVID-19
- COVID-19 is caused by virus not by bacteria
COVID-19 is caused by the virus that present in a family of viruses called coronaviridae. Antibiotics will not work against COVID-19. Some people who are infected with the COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. Here, antibiotics may be recommended by the healthcare provider. Till now there is no licensed medication to cure this disease. Call your healthcare provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance, if you have any symptoms.
- Thermal scanners cannot detect COVID-19
Thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. It can detect fever (if the body temperature is higher than normal). There are many causes of fever. So, if you have fever seek assistance from a healthcare provider. If you live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medica care immediately.
- Most people affected by coronavirus recover from it
Most people who are affected with COVID-19 develop mild to moderate symptoms and can recover from it. If you find difficulty in breathing, have cough and fever seek medical care early. You can call your health facility by telephone and ask for help.
- COVID-19 is not transmitted through houseflies or through mosquito bite
To date, there is no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through houseflies or through mosquito bite. As mentioned earlier, the virus is transmitted when you have direct contact with infected person through the respiratory droplets when he coughs or sneezes and through fomites in the immediate environment or surfaces around the infected person.
To date, there is no specific vaccine or medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. Several drug trials are on and there is no proof yet that any drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. WHO is organizing efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat this disease.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to maintain good hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene, physical distance of at least 1 metre from others. Wash your hands frequently using soap or handwashes or alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.