World Health Organization weighs in on some of the facts and myths about COVID-19

There is a lot of accurate information coming out each day about the novel coronavirus COVID-19, but amid the pandemic, there are also a lot of myths. But first, a word about Face Masks:

When and how to wear medical masks to protect against coronavirus

The most important thing to know about whether you should be wearing a face mask or not is whether you feel that wearing one is protecting yourself and those around you.

The truth is that everyone should be wearing a face mask from now on until we come out on the other side of this pandemic. You know why? Because it just makes sense. Right?! Don’t wait for the government to tell you to protect yourself. Sometimes you just have to go with what makes sense for you and yours.

And please, please please… wherever you get your information, please check several internet or media sources to verify accuracy. If you believe only the first thing you hear, you are probably not getting all of the facts you need to protect yourself.

Proper face mask placement:

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Fact or Myth? Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose

Fact or myth? An ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the virus on skin. MYTH.

Not only should ultraviolet radiation not be used to sterilize the skin, it can also cause skin irritation.

Fact or myth? Hand dryers are effective in killing the novel coronavirus. MYTH.

WHO recommends frequently cleaning your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Then, dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel or warm air dryer.

You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.  FACT

Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Fact or myth? The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. FACT.

WHO says there is no evidence to suggest this. COVID-19, a respiratory virus, spreads primarily through droplets generated by an infected person. That can include a cough, sneeze, droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

Fact or myth? Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can kill the coronavirus. MYTH.

While alcohol or chlorine can be useful in disinfecting surfaces, neither will kill viruses that have already entered your body. In addition, spraying these substances can be harmful to mucous membranes (like eyes, mouth, etc.) and clothes.

Fact or myth? There are no specific medicines to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus. FACT.

While there are measures that can be taken to relieve and treat symptoms of the virus, there are no specific medicines recommended to treat or prevent the virus itself at this time. However, there are treatments under investigation that will be tested through clinical trials.

WHO officials say they are helping to accelerate research and development efforts.

Fact or myth? COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in hot and humid climates. FACT.

WHO says evidence shows the new coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas, despite the climate.

Fact or myth? Eating garlic can help prevent infection with the novel coronavirus. MYTH.

Though garlic is a healthy food with some antimicrobial properties, no evidence shows eating it has protected people from COVID-19, WHO says.

Along with myth busting, WHO also addressed a couple of commonly asked questions regarding the new coronavirus.

Can vaccines for pneumonia protect against COVID-19? NO.

Ones that work against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, will not protect you. This specific virus, because it’s so new and different, will need its own vaccine.

Regardless, WHO recommends getting vaccinated against respiratory illnesses to protect your health.

How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus? They are not!

Thermal scanners can not detect those who are infected with the new coronavirus. However, they can detect people who have a fever.

WHO added that it can take between two and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Read the original advisory from the WHO here: WHO

 

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