COMMON MYTHS ABOUT NOVEL CORONAVIRUS INFECTION
1. Myth: COVID -19 outbreak will end with a rise in temperatures.
Reality: No proof of this yet. Higher temperature may however help reduce transmission rate. This is because all viruses are heat sensitive. They may not survive on surfaces for long in hot weather.
2. Myth: Everyone needs an N 95 mask.
Reality: Only health care workers who work in close contact require N95 mask. The general public without any disease symptoms do not need to wear mask at all. If they must they can use a surgical mask which is cheaper.
3. Myth: Taking hot bath can save you from getting infected.
Reality: A hot bath won’t prevent you from COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is by frequently cleaning your hand by soap and by using hand sanitizer.
4. Myth : Spraying alcohol all over your body can kill the coronavirus.
Reality: Spraying alcohol all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e eyes, mouth etc.).
5. Myth: Novel Coronavirus infection can be transmitted through good manufactured in China or any country reporting COVID -19 cases.
Reality: Even though Novel Coronavirus may stay upto several days, it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after it has been moved, travelled and been exposed to different conditions & temperatures.
6. Myth: Pets at home can spread coronavirus.
Reality: At present there is no evidence that companion animals/pets, such as dogs, or cats can be infected by Novel coronavirus. However it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soaps and water after contact with pet.
7. Myth: Flu shots can protect you against Novel Coronavirus.
Reality: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib) don’t provide protection against novel coronavirus. There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.
8. Myth: Medicines that help to boost immunity can prevent COVID -19.
Reality: Such medicines Allopathic or Homoeopathic can boost immunity in general but there’s no proof that it can protect people from the new coronavirus.
9. Myth: Antibiotics can prevent and treat Novel Coronavirus infection.
Reality: Antibiotics donot work against viruses, only bacteria; Novel Coronavirus is a virus and therefore antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However if you are hospitalized for COVID-19 then you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
10. Myth: Eating Chicken, meat, Fish adds to risk of getting COVID-19.
Reality: No. The new Coronavirus is a respiratory virus and so spreads primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person for example coughs, or sneeze or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
Below are some facts and figures about Novel Coronavirus (COVID) which has been sourced from World Health Organisation (WHO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Plan India’s Knowledge and Research Team.
Things you need to know to keep yourself safe from Coronavirus
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory illness caused by most recently discovered corona virus ( SAR-COV-2) that can spread from person to person. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”. The virus has been named: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
2. What is the disease pattern?
The global data suggests, in about 80% of the cases the disease is mild, and 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen, and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation. While the true mortality of Covid-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4%. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1%.
3. How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick Common human coronaviruses usually spread from an infected person to others through
The air by coughing and sneezing
Close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands
Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
4. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Those who have the virus may have no obvious symptoms (be asymptomatic) or symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and potentially be life-threatening. Symptoms can include
Severe Acute Respiratory Infection
Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
5. Who are at risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
Those most at risk for severe influenza infection are children, pregnant women, elderly, those with underlying chronic medical conditions and those who are immunosuppressed. For Covid-19, our current understanding is that older age and underlying conditions increase the risk for severe infection.
6. Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?
There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.
7. Is there a treatment available for coronavirus?
Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment for this new coronavirus. Treatment is therefore supportive, which means giving fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, supplemental oxygen. People who become critically ill from COVID-19 may need a respirator to help them breathe. Bacterial infection can complicate this viral infection. Patients may require antibiotics in cases of bacterial pneumonia as well as COVID-19. Antiviral treatments used for HIV and other compounds are being investigated.
There’s no evidence that supplements, such as vitamin C, or probiotics will help speed recovery.COVID-19 and influenza viruses have a similar disease presentation. That is, they both cause respiratory disease, which presents as a wide range of illness from asymptomatic or mild through to severe disease and death. Yet there are important differences between the two viruses and how they spread. This has important implications for the public health measures that can be implemented to respond to each virus.
8. How can I prevent myself Coronavirus?
There is currently neither vaccine nor any medicine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. If you want to protect yourself from getting infected with the new coronavirus, then following preventive measures is the best way to keep yourself safe.
9. What are the protective measures against the Coronavirus?
10. What are the protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
One should follow the guidance outlined above. For people who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading, they should stay at home if they begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. If they develop fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, they should seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. They should in call in advance and inform their hospital of any recent travel or contact with travellers.