Misinformation Surrounding the Coronavirus: Health Myths Debunked
During these trying times, access to accurate information can be of vital importance when it comes to people protecting themselves during a crisis. The internet can be a valuable tool for learning all you can about the spread of coronavirus, but as with anything, the internet can also be a place where misinformation is spread without limit. To help sort out the myths that are propagating throughout the net, here are some common misconceptions when it comes to coronavirus.
Myth 1: Drinking water will flush viral particles into your stomach where they will be destroyed
An idea floating around through a social media post recommends people drink water every 15 minutes so any viral particles that get into your mouth will be washed down into your stomach and destroyed by the acid. By constantly drinking water, the post claims the virus will not make its way into your lungs.
Truth: Drinking water throughout your day is important as it keeps you hydrated, but there is no evidence that drinking water will help you prevent infection from the coronavirus. It is, however, still a good idea to keep yourself hydrated.
Myth 2: Warm weather will eliminate coronavirus
Some government officials have stated that the coronavirus could be subdued as the weather begins to warm. With warmer weather, they say the virus will be killed, effectively minimizing its spread.
Truth: The coronavirus has spread to all areas of the globe, including warmer countries like Singapore and the Philippines. While some viruses have shown to not spread as easily in warm weather, there is no data suggesting that this is true for the novel coronavirus.
Myth 3: The virus was made in a lab
This rumor is one of the scarier ones to circulate across the internet. Some people have alleged that the coronavirus was created in a lab for the purpose of being used as a bioweapon.
Truth: This theory has been debunked by several studies, with experts saying that this virus likely originated in bats, eventually making the jump to humans.
Myth 4: Kids can’t catch the coronavirus
The majority of cases around the world have been in adults, leading many to believe that children are spared from becoming infected with the coronavirus.
Truth: Children are susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, with recent studies showing children as just as likely as adults to become infected. This, however, does not mean that the infection will be severe. Most of the cases in children have been relatively mild.
Myth 5: The coronavirus is just like the flu
With a large portion of the younger crowds remaining fairly blasé, many have said that the coronavirus is just like the flu.
Truth: While the mortality of the coronavirus is still uncertain, The World Health Organization estimates it is somewhere between 2-3%. This makes it 20-30 times deadlier than the flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. These numbers are constantly changing though, as the situation continues to progress.
Myth 6: Surgical masks can protect you from the virus
Many people have rushed to the stores in a panic to stock up on standard surgical masks in order to protect themselves from breathing in the virus.
Truth: Surgical masks are used to prevent the spreading of the virus by blocking respiratory droplets that are expelled when sneezing and coughing. Health care personnel use a special kind of mask called a “N95 respirator” that actively filters out viral particles. These masks are fitted onto the face so that no air can sneak in.