COVID-19: Myths and Facts
After the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of people browsing social media and interacting on social networks has increased enormously. Nowadays, these platforms are primarily used by the general public for fulfilling their informational needs about various issues related to the coronavirus. Considering that the current circulating information is enormous, it is crucial to know “what is true” and “what is false”. Lack of credible information can become a gateway for uncertainty and anxiety. This blog explores the numerous myths and facts about the COVID-19 virus to halt the misconceptions and avert the spread of rumours. It hopefully gives a better insight into trustworthy facts and staying safe.
Myth 1: COVID-19 essentially originated in a lab experiment.
Fact: Efforts are still being made by scientists to know the origin of COVID-19. It is unlikely that it was created in a laboratory. Based on the studies that were previously conducted on coronaviruses, it is believed that the virus must have started in bats and further evolved to infect humans.
Myth 2: The COVID-19 vaccines are not safe because drug companies made them in haste due to the pressing need.
Fact: It is true that the drug companies have spent a lot of time, effort, and money to quickly make the COVID-19 vaccines to meet the needs of the pandemic. But these companies making the drugs need to abide by strict rules at every stage to ensure safety and efficacy. More importantly, regulatory body approval is mandatory.
Myth 3: I will become sick after getting the vaccine shot.
Fact: It is important to acknowledge that all the COVID-19 vaccines available do not have any live virus that can cause the COVID-19 infection. Therefore, a COVID-19 vaccine shot will not make anyone sick due to the disease. In fact, the vaccine helps your body make antibodies to fight the virus effectively.
Myth 4: If I get my vaccine shot, I may not get pregnant or suffer pregnancy loss.
Fact: It is rumoured that the COVID-19 vaccine produces antibodies that bind to the placenta or womb and affects pregnancy. But there is no evidence or studies that support the linking of COVID-19 to infertility.
Myth 5: Once the herd immunity is achieved the COVID-19 spread will slow down, so there is no need for vaccination.
Fact: Herd immunity can be achieved when 70% of the entire population is either infected with the virus or is vaccinated against it. At this point, getting vaccinated to achieve herd immunity is the best way out as compared to millions more victims and deaths due to the virus.
Myth 6: COVID-19 can be cured by using vitamin and mineral supplements.
Fact: Certain vitamins (C and D) and minerals like zinc are known to boost the immune system. This can protect against viruses in general. There is no evidence that these vitamins and minerals are a potential cure for COVID-19 infection.
Myth 7: Drinking hot water, taking warm water baths or nasal saline solution can prevent the infection.
Fact: Drinking warm water can have a soothing effect on the throat if the person is already sick. It cannot rinse the virus off the throat. There is no solid scientific proof to show that drinking hot water, taking warm water baths or saline nasal spray can prevent the COVID-19 infection. Instead, rinsing hands with soap and warm water, wearing a mask, avoiding a large crowd and maintaining social distancing is the best way to prevent viruses from entering through the eyes, nose and mouth.
Myth 8: A negative COVID test means I am safe and cannot get infected.
Fact: If your test results are negative, it indicates that you were not infected at the time of sample collection. However, it does not guarantee that you will not get infected later. You are required to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at all times. Visit the pulmonology hospital in Bangalore to know every detail about the vaccine.
Myth 9: When new strains of the virus emerge, COVID-19 vaccines cannot work.
Fact: Mutation is common in all viral infections. So far, many strains of the COVID-19 virus have been reported globally and some strains have been associated with a higher ability to infect and cause more severe infections as compared to the rest. The available vaccines have displayed significant protection against all the strains as compared to not getting vaccinated. However, their efficacy may vary and is still being studied extensively.
Myth 10: I have recovered from the COVID-19 infection so I have developed immunity.
Fact: Immunity plays a great role in preventing COVID-19 infection and thus varies from person to person. Several case reports published globally have confirmed reinfection in many recovered patients. We must continue to wear masks, avoid crowds, and wash hands to avoid reinfection.
Myth 11: If I previously had an allergic reaction to vaccines, I should not get the COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Fact: In case one has a serious allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, he/she shouldn't get the shots. In case of other existing allergies like food and pollen, one can get vaccinated.
Myth 12: Small gatherings are harmless. They do not mean any COVID-19 infection threat.
Fact: It’s true that large gatherings like nursing homes, functions etc. are driving the spread of COVID-19. Small gatherings can also be a source of the spread especially when the gatherings happen outside the household, without maintaining social distancing or masking adequately.
Myth 13: Thermal scanners can detect COVID-19.
Fact: Thermal scanners can detect fever, a symptom of COVID-19, but not all are infected with the virus. Thermal scanners fail to detect COVID-19 patients who remain asymptomatic or do not have fever as a symptom. Fever can be a symptom of many other conditions such as malaria, dengue, bacterial infections, etc.
Myth 14: 5G has caused the spread of COVID-19 infection.
Fact: Radio waves or mobile networks cannot become a medium for viruses to travel. The spread of COVID-19 is also seen in many countries that are not using 5G mobile networks. It was believed by some that since Wuhan was one of the first 5G cities in China, it explains why the COVID-19 virus originated and spread. However, it has been clearly established that the COVID-19 infection spreads through droplet infection from one person to another.
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1. Can children get COVID-19?
Yes, children can also get COVID-19 infection. Although it is milder than in adults. Rarely the infection can get serious and life-threatening. Consult the pulmonologist in Bangalore immediately if your child develops any symptoms of COVID-19.
2. Can garlic protect one against coronaviruses?
Some studies show that garlic can slow down the growth of certain bacteria. There is no proof showing that garlic can protect from COVID-19.
3. Can antibiotics kill the coronavirus?
No, antibiotics can only kill bacteria. They cannot kill COVID-19 viral infection. However, antibiotics are often prescribed in infected patients to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
4. Will the coronavirus die at higher temperatures?
In general, certain viruses including cold and flu viruses spread more easily in colder months. But it is unlikely that their transmission stops in hot weather conditions. The influence of temperature changes on the behaviour of SARS-CoV-2 is still being researched.
5. How do we continue to protect ourselves from COVID-19 infection?
The following simple ways are recommended to protect ourselves from COVID-19 infection:
Close contact should be avoided with sick/symptomatic people.
Frequently Touching the eyes, nose, or mouth should be avoided.
In case any symptoms are noticed, one should stay home.
We should use a tissue/the crook of the elbow while sneezing.
Frequently touched surfaces must be well sanitized.
Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water.
We should continue to use masks in public places.
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