With over 86,000 cases reported worldwide of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, a lot of worry and concern has risen among the community, and along with it, various rumors and false information circulating the internet. Although we have limited information of this sudden outbreak, here are some debunked myths and facts of the new Coronavirus.
How dangerous is the Coronavirus?
- Everyone has the risk of getting infected, but not everyone will be seriously ill or in critical conditions.
- Young, healthy people are the least likely to be heavily affected.
- The most vulnerable people are the elderly, young children and people with autoimmune or pre-existing conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease).
- Thermal scanners are not always effective at detecting people infected by the coronavirus; they are only effective at detecting people who have developed a fever, however with COVID-19, it takes between 2 and 10 days (two weeks) before people who are infected show symptoms and develop a fever.
Are there any medicines to prevent or treat Coronavirus?
- Right now, there are no specific medicines to prevent or treat the Coronavirus.
- Antibiotics do not work to prevent or treat Coronavirus– or any virus whatsoever.
- Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, do not provide protection against COVID-19.
What can we do to prevent infection?
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and if thats not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face, minimize contact (ex. shaking hands), and avoid cramped and densely populated spaces.
- Practice good respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, disposing the used tissue immediately.
- Hand dryers and UV lamps are not effective at disinfecting, or sterilizing.
- Regular surgical masks provide minimal protection, they only block liquid droplets. Instead, N95 respirators, which filter 95% of viral particles, are more efficient at protecting against viruses.
- However, it is important to keep in mind that if everyone purchases and bulk buys face masks, there is going to be a shortage of masks for medical professionals and health workers who are actually exposed to the virus, as well as vulnerable people, such as elders, children and people with autoimmune conditions that may truly need them.
What can we do?
- In addition to following the steps above, the actions that we, young and healthy people take, including practicing good hygiene and reporting symptoms, will have an essential role in protecting the people around us!