SHARE: 7 Dangerous & Debunked Myths About the Coronavirus

Someone recently said to me today, “Everyone’s posting all sorts of news and updates. Who knows what’s true out there?” That’s the dangerous thing: false information can spread as quickly as this virus can…

It’s true that there’s a lot of information out there. Not all of it is helpful, and some of it is even dangerous (you didn’t drink bleach before the coronavirus, why would you start drinking bleach now?) How can we protect ourselves and our loved ones from these potentially-fatal myths? There’s no need for scare-mongering, panic-buying or excessive fear when we’re properly informed and remaining calm in prayer. At Hendrickson Rose Publishing, we’re praying for you and your loved ones to stay healthy.

1. MYTH: A vaccine cure is available for COVID-19

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine: “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.”

Source: “Coronavirus Disease 2019: Myth vs. Fact” https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact

2. MYTH: Coronavirus COVID-19 is just like the flu/common cold

A viral Facebook post has been going around saying that coronavirus starts with a dry cough and no runny nose. If you have a runny nose and sputum, then you simply have the common cold.

This is false. And the danger is that if an individual thinks it’s “just a cold” or the seasonal flu, they may not take the necessary precautions in stopping the spread of the virus to others.

Brandon Brown, a professor at the University of California Riverside’s Center for Healthy Communities, told AFP that the coronavirus “can cause a runny nose and sputum,” because “‘the symptoms are first similar to a common cold.”

AFP states: “Symptoms of the novel coronavirus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.”

So what should you do if you think you may be infected? Here are the official CDC guidelines.

Source: “These 14 claims on COVID-19 are viral, but misleading” https://factcheck.afp.com/these-14-claims-covid-19-are-viral-misleading

3. MYTH: Drinking water every 15 minutes prevents COVID-19

According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University, while drinking more water is good for your overall health, it will not keep you from catching or spreading the coronavirus. Schaffner told The Associated Press, “We always caution anyone healthy and people who are sick to keep up fluid intake and keep mucus membranes moist.” He also said: “It makes you feel better; there is no clear indication that it directly protects you against complications.”

Just because someone is drinking water as often as they breathe doesn’t mean they should go outside and assume business as usual.

4. MYTH: Gargling salt water, vinegar, ethanol, steroids, bleach, or essential oils prevents coronavirus

Some of these rumors going around are flat out dangerous! Always consult a medical professional before ingesting any chemicals or drugs.

Johns Hopkins Medicine advises: “Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing. In addition, you can avoid spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.”

Source: “Coronavirus Disease 2019: Myth vs. Fact” https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact

5. MYTH: Take unprescribed drugs to prevent or treat yourself and your loved ones

Take medical advice over advice you hear on the television, even from politicians. It’s unfortunate we have to say this today, but would you take eye care advice from your plumber? Would you take IT advice from your dentist?

Some politicians have condoned the use of drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (typically used in treating Lupus) which have not been properly tested by the FDA as a cure for coronavirus. There are actually dangerous side effects to these medications to be wary of. From Forbes:

Neither chloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine is harmless. Side effects of chloroquine can include vision problems, for example, and hydroxychloroquine, known by the brand name Plaquenil, carries a risk of fatal arrhythmia, where the heart beat becomes so irregular that the patient goes into cardiac arrest. Multiple doctors and pharmacists took to Twitter to warn the public of potentially dangerous effects of taking these drugs, especially with azithromycin, a combination which can also lead in rare cases to sudden death

Man Dead From Taking Chloroquine Product After Trump Touts Drug For Coronavirus https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2020/03/23/man-dead-from-taking-chloroquine-after-trump-touts-drug-for-coronavirus/#bc4e19672e91

Source: “Coronavirus Disease 2019: Myth vs. Fact” https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact

6. MYTH: Coronavirus only affects older people

Here’s what the World Health Organization states:

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

7. MYTH: Coronavirus can be killed by hand dryers/hair dryers

Don’t fall for the myth that hand dryers or hair blow dryers are effective in eliminating COVID-19. Coronavirus is also not affected by warm climates, humidity, and cold weather. So what should you do instead?

To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Want to read more myths busted by the World Health Organization? Visit this page: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

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