Fact or fiction? Exposure to the sun can prevent COVID-19. Plus 8 more Q&A’s from the WHO in part 2 of our COVID-19 myth-busting series.
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently called the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic a "dangerous epidemic of misinformation" that has left millions of people scared and going online seeking advice on proper protection methods. Fraudulent products are being sold online that promise a cure for COVID-19 and false information is circulating across social media in such large numbers that Facebook announced that users who interacted with COVID-19 misinformation that has been flagged as “harmful” will be directed to the World Health Organization's (WHO) page that is dedicated to debunking various COVID-19 myths. Below, are 9 statements and answers from the WHO's list that you can use to help patients decipher COVID-19 facts from fiction.
Fact. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. People can be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose.
Fiction. People can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.
Fiction. Vaccines against pneumonia (eg, pneumococcal vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine) DO NOT protect against COVID-19. The WHO advises vaccination for all against respiratory illness to further protect health.
Fact or fiction? Recovery from COVID-19 is possible and once infected, you will not have it for life.
Fact. Most people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If infected, patients should ensure they treat the symptoms. If patients have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, they should seek medical care early and call their health facility by phone first.
Fiction. 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.
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.
Fiction. Antibiotics only work against bacteria, but if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may get antibiotics as bacterial co-infection may occur.
Fact. 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.
Fact. Drinking alcohol does not protect against COVID-19 and can be dangerous. Frequent alcohol or excessive alcohol intake can increase your risk of health problems.
What other myths could your patients be reading? Check out part 1of our COVID-19 myth-busting series.