COVID-19 FAQ’s: What’s True And What’s False About Coronavirus?
As Covid-19 cases climb globally, fake news about the coronavirus are also increasing. Dear Malaysian, before you pass on any online rumor, please take time to verify it. This can be done by keeping a close eye on information from our local authorities like the KKM website. The spread of false information during the coronavirus outbreak can be dangerous.
To help readers navigate through the unclear, unfamiliar and misinformation, we rounded up some facts, as well as dispel some of the fake news.
‘’Where did coronavirus originate?’’
Coronavirus originated in China, not elsewhere.
‘’Alcohol and homemade recipes can cure for coronavirus’’
False. Across the web, stories and social media posts are being shared regarding a cure for COVID-19 ranging from homemade recipes and alcohol to vaccines and even sexual intercourse. At present, there is no vaccine or anti-viral drug that is effective against COVID-19.
However, both are in the research stages of development, with a vaccine already being trialed on humans. While there is no specific cure, most people will make a full recovery from the virus, even if they require hospital treatment.
‘’Sanitizers Don’t Help Against Coronavirus’’
False. Posts have been shared on social media that hand sanitizer doesn’t work against COVID-19, reasoning that because it is a virus, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer won’t do anything. According to FactCheck.org, the rumor started on Twitter when a self-identified “scientist” posted their theory on March 1, 2020.
However, according to the CDC, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is a suitable substitute if there is no soap and water available.
‘’COVID-19 only affects the elderly’’
False. People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus, but 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.
‘’The symptoms of COVID-19 are different in children and adults’’
False. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough.
‘’Warm weather can kill the coronavirus’’
At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.
‘’Cold weather and snow can kill the new coronavirus’’
There is no evidence (so far) to suggest cold weather can kill the novel coronavirus or other diseases.
‘’I cannot catch the coronavirus from my pet’’
True. Though it is believed COVID-19 emerged from an animal source, there’s no evidence at this time that pets can catch the virus or pass it on to humans. Still, the CDC has long advised that it is smart to wash your hands after being around animals.
‘’A pregnant woman cannot transfer the virus to her fetus’’
True. With an outbreak as new as COVID-19, not a lot of research has been done into how it affects pregnant women and their babies, but initial studies from China’s outbreak have found no episodes of an expectant mother passing the virus onto babies in the womb.
‘’I can only get the coronavirus if someone coughs or sneezes on me’’
False. COVID-19 resides in the respiratory system and is mostly spread through what are known as respiratory droplets, tiny water bubbles projected from the body in a cough or a sneeze. But, it may be passed in other ways. The virus will survive for a time on hard surfaces, so someone who coughs into their hand and then touches a doorknob or desk can pass it on to someone else who later touches those surfaces.
‘’A face mask will protect me from COVID-19’’
True and False. Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients.
For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.
People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.