Fact or fiction? Vaccines against pneumonia can protect against COVID-19. Plus 8 more questions and answers from the World Health Organization.
Can ultraviolet lamps kill the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Can COVID-19 be spread throughÂ mosquito bites? These questions may seem a bit outlandish, but between fraudulent products being sold online that promise a cure and misinformation circulating across social media, it can be hard for patients to decipher which information regarding COVID-19 is real or fake. The World Health Organization (WHO) compiled answers to some of the most common questions and thoughts to help educate the public on what the latest evidence shows regarding COVID-19. Scroll through the brief slideshow below based on the WHO's list to see if you know which statements on COVID-19 are true or just plain fiction.Â
Fact. From the evidence so far, COVID-19 can be spread in ALL AREAS, including hot and humid climates. It should be noted that cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the virus as the normal human body temperature remains between 36.5°C and 37°C, regardless of external temperature or weather.
Fiction. Vaccines against pneumonia (eg, pneumococcal vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine) DO NOT protect against COVID-19. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. A phase I clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine is underway with the first participant receiving it on Monday, March 16, 2020. The WHO advises vaccination for all against respiratory illness to further protect health.
Fiction. People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill. The WHO recommends people of all ages take steps to protect themselves like following good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Fiction. There has been no information or evidence thus far to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets made when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
Fact. Hand dryers are not effective in killing COVID-19. People should frequently clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water to protect themselves against the novel virus.
Fiction. UV lamps CANNOT kill COVID-19. The WHO warns that UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as it can cause skin irritation.
Fact. Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever due to COVID-19, however, they CANNOT detect those who are infected but not yet sick with a fever. Thermal scanners can, however, detect people who are infected but not yet sick with fever because it takes between 2-10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
Fact. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body WILL NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying these substances can be harmful to not only clothes, but to mucous membranes as well. The WHO advises that people should be aware that these substances are useful for disinfecting surfaces, but they need to be used under the correct recommendations.
Fiction. Antibiotics only work against bacteria, but if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may get antibiotics as bacterial co-infection may occur.
For more COVID-19 news for primary care, visit ourCOVID-19 Resource Page.