With the rise in uncertainty on COVID-19, there is a rapid spread of misinformation about the virus that causes unnecessary anxiety and confusion. The most reliable and credible information about the virus comes from evidence-based guidelines. Below are some of the common myths of COVID-19 that are false and should not be followed.
"If you hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort, you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease."
This breathing exercise does not test if you have COVID-19 and is not to be practiced. The most clinically-proven and effective test to confirm if you have the virus is with a laboratory test. The following are the most common symptoms of COVID-19: dry cough, difficulty breathing, and fever. There are also severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia, that can occur in individuals.
"Disinfectant injections are a cure for COVID-19."
Disinfectants are only to be used for cleaning non-human surfaces in line with usage guidelines. Under no circumstance should a disinfectant be administered into the human body as a COVID-19 treatment. There is no scientific evidence that supports this myth.
"Older people are more susceptible to the coronavirus than younger people."
People of ALL ages can contract COVID-19, which is why everyone needs to follow the evidence-based guidelines to protect themselves. Older people, especially with pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart disease), seem to be more at high risk for getting the disease.
"There are now licensed drugs such as hydroxychloroquine for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19."
There is currently no licensed drug to treat and prevent the coronavirus. While there are several ongoing drug trials to develop and evaluate various medicines, hydroxychloroquine and other drugs should not be used for COVID-19 treatment. Serious side effects, illness, and even death can occur from the misuse of these drugs.
According to the National Institute of Health, there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, including remdesivir, chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, and other antiviral drugs.
This myth is also proven false by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where they caution on many misleading drug products to treat COVID-19. The FDA will continuously monitor in-store and online retailers to remove these from their selections. The following link provides more details:
"Cloth face coverings will decrease your oxygen levels."
Cloth face coverings are not airtight, which will not keep you from breathing or getting oxygen. If you ever feel like you’re having trouble breathing, remove the cloth face covering and sit down to recollect. Call 911 if the feeling persists.
Reference: Don't be fooled by COVID-19 misinformation
"COVID-19 is spread easily from pets to people."
Although there have been a small number of reported cases of pets worldwide contracting the COVID-19 virus, it is not easy for people to get the disease from pets. However, do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. Social distancing does apply to pets as it is possible for people to spread COVID-19 to pets.
Reference: Don't be fooled by COVID-19 misinformation
"The best way to prevent the coronavirus disease is if you expose yourself to the sun or to hotter temperatures as this disease cannot survive in these temperatures."
The disease can be transmitted in ALL areas regardless of the temperature and weather. There are countries with hot climates who have reported cases of COVID-19. Please see the following link of COVID-19 transmission worldwide in real-time: https://ncov2019.live/data
The best preventative ways are regular hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face, including your eyes, mouth, and nose.
"Those who contract COVID-19 will have the disease for life."
You can recover from COVID-19 as most of the people who catch the disease, eliminate it entirely from their bodies thanks to supportive and reliable health care. It is important to seek medical care early if you experience any of the most common symptoms of the virus.
"Vaccines against pneumonia protect you from contracting the disease."
There is currently no vaccine that is effective to protect you from the coronavirus. There is still much to be learned about this disease since it is very new and different. However, researchers are currently working to develop a vaccine. Although there is no COVID-19 vaccine, continue with routine vaccinations to protect yours and the communities’ health.
"Antibiotics are an effective treatment and preventative measure for COVID-19."
Antibiotics only treat bacteria and not viruses, which coronavirus is a type of virus. Antibiotics should not be used to treat and prevent COVID-19. However, antibiotics may be used per medical discretion if you are hospitalized for the virus since bacterial co-infection is possible.
"Adding peppers to meals prevents and cures COVID-19."
Hot peppers in your food cannot prevent and cure COVID-19. The best ways to prevent the coronavirus disease is regular and thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and maintaining at least 6 feet away from others. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is another preventative measure, which includes having a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and having
good sleeping habits.
All the above myths are referenced from the World Health Organization, except for those indicated. For other myths, please visit the following link: