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Get Your Facts Right: Debunking COVID-19 Myths

Updated: Mar 5

Authors: Karen Liu, Nicole Wang, Jiahao Wu

Editors: Tiffany Chan, Joyce Hai, Demi Leng, Shannon Tan, Molly Zhao, Leon Zhou

Artist: Scarlett Chu

1. The coronavirus will disappear when the weather gets warmer.

No! Although there have been some studies pointing to how warmer weather may slow down the transmission of the outbreak, COVID-19 can still be transmitted in hot and humid weather conditions. Some illnesses like the common cold or the flu are seasonal, as they are more prevalent in colder weather; pandemics do not behave the same way. A report by the National Academy of Sciences shows that warmer temperatures in laboratory settings decrease the survival rate of the virus. However, evidence has shown that the coronavirus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS of varying temperatures, even those with hot and humid climates.

2. I can make a homemade cure for the coronavirus.

There is no evidence to prove that homemade cures will help prevent COVID-19 and no cure or medicine to treat the coronavirus to date. If infected, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends seeking appropriate care to treat the symptoms, such as contacting a local primary doctor or going to the hospital.

3. I can catch COVID-19 from a package I ordered online.

It is highly unlikely to catch COVID-19 from a package you ordered online, as

coronaviruses primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Despite this, a recent

study has concluded that the virus can survive for a short period on surfaces: up to 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on, and 3 days on plastic and stainless steel. Thus, it is in your best interest to take precautions, use gloves to handle packages, wash your hands immediately afterward, and leave the package outside for a few days before touching it.

4. Only older people are at risk for the virus.

Wrong! People of all ages are at risk for COVID-19. Elderly with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease are more vulnerable, but this does not mean that that the younger generation is completely immune. A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that, as of March 2020, approximately 38% of patients hospitalized in the US are around 20 to 44 years old and 29% of cases worldwide are of 20 to 44 years of age.

5. Face masks are a sure-proof against the coronavirus.

Facial masks are not a definite method of prevention from the coronavirus, using a

mask alone does not provide adequate protection. It is best to distance yourself six feet away from others. Nevertheless, the CDC highly recommends nonmedical fabric masks or even a cloth face-covering in a community setting. This should be an extra level of precaution, not only to protect yourself but also to protect others from infection. Since many patients are asymptomatic, wearing a face mask will reduce the transmission of the virus, but it is crucial to note that face masks should be utilized with social distancing, not in place of it.

6. Spraying bleach or other disinfectants on my body will get rid of the virus.

Spraying or drinking any type of bleach or bleach or alcohol (eg. ethanol, methanol) is extremely dangerous and WILL NOT prevent or cure COVID-19. Bleach, although used on object surfaces to rid viruses, is a poison and should not be consumed under ANY circumstance. Instead, the WHO recommends washing your hands regularly, disinfecting, and avoiding contact with your face, to protect yourself against the coronavirus.

7. House flies and mosquitoes can transmit COVID-19.

Although some may think that the coronavirus can be transmitted by flies and other insects, data suggests otherwise. According to the WHO, no evidence suggests that the coronavirus can be spread through house flies and mosquitoes. COVID--19 primarily

spreads through infectious water droplets in the air. Rather than swatting flies and

mosquitos, take appropriate social distancing measures.

8. The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu.

As of June 17th, 2020, COVID--19 has caused approximately 444,111 deaths

worldwide, with, with 116,963 of those solely being from the U.S. As a comparison, the flu kills approximately 290,000 to 650,000 people worldwide and 24,000 to 62,000 people in the U.S each year. However, the mortality rate of coronavirus is much higher. Although there are more flu cases, the coronavirus is more deadly.

9. The coronavirus was man-made in a lab.

The genetic sequences on the backbone and other features of a virus determine its

ability and function. Due to the complexity of the genetic features, especially due to the complexity of the genetic features, particularly the backbone of the virus, a man-made origin is somewhat unimaginable. Moreover, the existing laws of biology do not allow changes to the existing backbone.

10. If you can hold your breath for more than 10 seconds, you can diagnose yourself negatively for COVID-19 or any other lung-related disease.

This method is meaningless and not scientific. Typical manifestations of pneumonia include shortness of breath, wheezing, and moist rales (respiratory sounds) in the lungs. CT imaging will also show typical lung changes. Furthermore, other symptoms such as airway cramps, airway hypersensitivity disorders, paroxysmal, persistent coughing after deep breathing or even without deep breathing, do not necessarily indicate the presence of pneumonia.

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