As fast as the coronavirus spreads, so, too, do the myths–the last thing we need in the midst of this pandemic. Healthcare professionals are doing their best to advise our leaders and the general public about how to stay safe. But we can also do our part to make sure what we’re hearing and reading is correct.
Here are 6 common misconceptions.
1. People who contract coronavirus are likely to die.
“For those under 50 years old, the mortality rate is 0.2% and possibly lower,” said Dr. Allon Mordel M.D., the medical director at K Health and physician at the emergency department of NYU Langone Hospital.
Other experts say, overall, the death rate of coronavirus may be closer to 1%. The reason why the rate is not exact is because people may be contracting mild forms and recovering without being tested.
Italy’s mortality rate was high because of their large elderly population. Most of the deaths there were people 80 and older.
2. Coronavirus is a type of flu.
Some of the symptoms are similar like fever, cough, sore throat, chills and body aches. But this coronavirus is distinct in that it is a disease of the lungs.
Flu doesn’t cause breathing problems unless it’s turning into pneumonia. Coronavirus will commonly cause shortness of breath.
3. Wearing a mask will stop infection.
Stocking up on N95 masks or surgical masks will not keep you from getting sick. Medical professionals know how to put them on properly and are required to wear them because they are directly treating actively ill people.
Unless you are sick and need to wear the mask to keep from infecting others, doctors say to leave the masks off and avoid touching your face.
4. You can contract coronavirus disease through restaurant food.
The virus is not foodborne. Since many communities are in lockdown or told to self-isolate, you can get many of your favorite restaurant meals through takeout or have it delivered.
You can even support local, family-owned restaurants by purchasing gift-cards for a visit later. Tip generously.
5. Use chlorine as a disinfectant.
You may have heard spraying yourself with chlorine is the only way to kill the virus.
This method is ineffective and the chlorine will irritate your skin.
Experts say wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to warm, soapy water. That’s sufficient enough to keep you healthy.
6. It doesn’t matter if you get a flu shot now.
A flu shot won’t protect you against coronavirus disease, but it’s still not good to contract flu.
Get one for this season if you haven’t already.
The coronavirus is the center of our attention now, so myths are bound to circulate.
Scientists are working around the clock to find out all they can.
Keep yourself updated and follow official guidelines to keep yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors healthy.