The deadly Coronavirus has caused rampant panic with World Health Organization (WHO) declaring it a pandemic. The Indian government puts the country under lockdown from tomorrow till April 15. And the latest news about Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson having contracted it has sent social media into a tizzy. Self proclaimed goodwill ambassadors have stepped up their efforts to disseminate advice to all and sundry. From Tik Tok videos telling us how to wash our hands, WhatsApp forwards listing a slew of herbs and spices to eat to a viral video of women praying to shoo away Corona, there’s an overload of information. In a situation like this, how does one sift fact from fiction? We feel you, fret not! We get experts to bust the most common myths.
- Myth: Coronavirus can spread through food
It’s a respiratory disease and can be transmitted from person to person or from surface to person. Dr KK Aggarwal, President Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania (CMMAO) and Heart Care Foundation of India says, “When you interact with an infected person within a radius of 6 feet. It can also spread through respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.” A person can also contract it by touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching the face with unwashed hands.
- Myth: Mask provides absolute protection
While a mask can to a certain extent protect you from infected droplets, there’s still a chance that micro viruses can penetrate the mask. Viruses can also spread on coming in contact with the eyes.
- Myth: The virus can’t be transmitted in hot and humid climates
Evidence gathered by doctors and researchers, so far doesn’t show that the virus doesn’t spread in areas with hot and humid weather.
- Myth: Vitamin C supplements can prevent you from catching COVID-19
There’s no substantial proof that Vitamin C supplements can render a person immune to Coronavirus. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and should be included in your diet to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Myth: Alcohol can protect you
“This is one of the most ridiculous thing I have heard, “ says Dr P. Venkata Krishna, Internal medicine, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon. “People are advised to use alcohol-based sanitizers. They assumed that intake of alcohol will cleanse or protect the body from Coronoavirus,” he adds.
- Myth: Flu vaccine can build immunity against the virus
Influenza and COVID-19 cause similar respiratory symptoms but both belong to different virus groups. Flu is a much milder infection than Coronavirus.
- Myth: COVID-19 is a death sentence
This can’t be any farther from the truth. According to a study published on February 18 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention about 81% of people infected with the coronavirus have mild cases of COVID-19. The data also suggested that only around 2.3% of people infected with COVID-19 die from the virus.