The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be fertile ground for odd and often dangerous myths about transmission, prevention, and treatment. We found 5 new ones.
The World Health Organization updates its COVID-19 Myth Busters page on a regular basis to provide the public with accurate information about the virus, how it is spread, and appropriate measures to reduce the chances of becoming infected. Recently it added 5 new myths that may be circulating among your patients. They lead this slide show, followed by 5 other myths that are still prevalent.
FICTION: Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least 1 meter away from others and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
FICTION: To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that COVID-19 is transmitted through houseflies. The SARS-CoV2 virus spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.
Fact or Fiction: Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort indicates that you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.
FICTION: The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test.
Fact or Fiction: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline will not prevent infection with the new coronavirus.
FACT: 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 regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
FICTION: You can recover from COVID-19. Catching the new coronavirus does not mean you will have it for life.
Most who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch COVID-19, do treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early—but call your health facility first. Most patients recover with supportive care.
Fact or Fiction: Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body will not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.
FICTION: Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.
Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only.
FACT: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (ie, whose body temperature is elevated). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19.
Fact or Fiction: Ultra-violet (UV) lamps are an effective method to disinfect hands or other areas of the skin.
FICTION: Ultra-violet (UV) lamps should not be used to disinfect hands or other areas of the skin. UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes.
FICTION: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. Researchers worldwide are trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.
But, while these vaccines are not effective against SARS-CoV2, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.