Debunking COVID-19 Myths: Know the Facts
With the spread of COVID-19 across Washington state and around the world, misinformation about the virus continues to spread just as quickly. As we all navigate this massive disruption to everyday life, it’s important to know the facts about coronavirus.
Here are seven COVID-19 myths that deserve busting.
Myth #1: COVID-19 only affects older people.
People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. While older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus, younger adults can also get infected and have severe symptoms. And while there are far fewer reports of children contracting COVID-19, they are still at risk of infection.
Myth #2: It’s just like the flu.
COVID-19 and the flu share some similar symptoms – coughing, fever, sore throat – but they are caused by different viruses. Influenza can be caused by a variety of types and strains of viruses, while COVID-19 is caused only by the novel 2019 coronavirus, a new coronavirus not previous identified.
Also keep in mind that a vaccine is available and effective to prevent the flu. There is no vaccine available at this time for COVID-19, although researchers are working to develop one.
Myth #3: Face masks guard against COVID-19.
For the general public, disposable, lightweight face masks are unlikely to protect against infection. When people without symptoms are using masks, it adds to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. Only people who have symptoms of illness or who are providing care to those who are ill should wear masks.
Myth #4: Influenza and pneumonia vaccines protect against coronavirus.
Flu and pneumonia vaccines are effective and highly recommended, but only for preventing flu and pneumonia. Neither vaccine is effective against COVID-19. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine specifically for this new coronavirus.
Myth #5: You can’t get COVID-19 in a hot, humid climate.
When it comes to COVID-19, climate doesn’t matter. Evidence so far indicates the virus can be transmitted in all areas, including those with hot or humid weather.
Myth #6: Home remedies will protect you against COVID-19.
Garlic and sesame oil offer awesome health benefits, but they won’t guard against COVID-19. Neither will vitamin C, essential oils, saline nose rinses, silver colloid, or sipping water every 15 minutes.
Same goes for cleaning supplies. You should never under any circumstances ingest chloroquine phosphate tablets (sold as fish-tank cleaner) or gargle with bleach. These ineffective home remedies can cause serious damage or even death.
The best way to protect yourself and family members from infection is to wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, stay home when you’re sick and practice social distancing. The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention offers great guidelines on how to protect yourself and others.
Myth #7: Mosquitoes spread coronavirus.
There is no evidence to suggest the new coronavirus is transmitted by mosquitoes. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus spread primarily through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or nasal discharge.
Look to reliable sources for information
If you hear something about COVID-19 that sounds too good to be true (i.e., hand dryers kill the virus), it probably is. Learn the facts from a dependable source. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide the most reliable and up-to-date COVID-19 information.
We’ve also compiled a list of COVID-19 frequently asked questions along with safety precautions and updates about our services.