WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Novel Corona-virus disease, known as COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease caused by a type of Coronavirus that infects sinuses, throat, and nose.
This newly discovered type of virus was identified as a mutated type of coronavirus. Many known types of this virus are considered not dangerous but this particular type of coronavirus is considered to be highly infectious.
It all started in December 2019, when a cluster of pneumonia cases was reported in the city of Wuhan, China. By the end of January 2020, the outbreak was declared as an international public health emergency. Further, on March 11, WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
Initially affecting Asia, North America, and Europe, the disease spread very rapidly all over the world. New cases are tested positive in Africa which has the largest HIV affected population. There are over 4.7 million confirmed cases all over the globe, with the United States having the highest number of cases amongst other countries. Recently, more than a lakh cases and over three hundred deaths were confirmed in India. Although the cases in India are increasing at a fast pace, there seems to be a promising recovering rate as well.
Alongside the disease, a lot of misinformation about the disease is also on the spread. Here are a few misconceptions and facts about COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine can be used for the treatment of COVID-19
There are no vaccines or drugs currently for the treatment of COVID-19. Although there have been few mentions about using hydroxychloroquine for drug trials, there is still no proof till now that any drug can cure COVID-19. Using hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can be highly dangerous and can even lead to death if mishandled. Drugs like these should be taken only under the guidance of a trained physician.
Coronavirus cannot survive under sun or warm weather above 25֯c
Many hot countries like Malaysia, Australia, and Singapore have reported numerous confirmed cases. Studies show that this virus has the potential to spread across various ranges of temperature and humidity levels. The fact is, the virus can catch you regardless of the weather or temperature, and standing under the sun does not prevent or cure the disease.
You are free from COVID-19 if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without any discomfort.
It can take up to 14 days for the symptoms to show up. Moreover, the majority of people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms like dry cough, tiredness, and fever. The best way to find out whether you have contracted the disease or not is through laboratory tests only.
Regularly gargling or rinsing the nose with salt water can help prevent contracting the virus
No, there is not much evidence for such claims. Moreover, according to previously collected data on similar conditions, saltwater does not kill viruses that attack our respiratory system. Doctors say that neither hot nor cold temperatures can kill the virus, they can only help alleviate the pain in some cases.
The disease can be transmitted through houseflies
No evidence confirms this theory but maintaining good hygiene and sanitation procedures can improve the chances of being safe and healthy.
Taking hot soup or other meals with pepper can prevent or cure the disease
No. Adding hot pepper might add additional flavors to the food, but they do not help prevent or cure the disease.
Children are unaffected by COVID-19. Older people are the only victims.
Experts say that all age groups are equally affected by COVID-19, but children are mostly not symptomatic. Extensive contact tracing should be done to find the affected children else they would be missed with the impression that they are unaffected.
While COVID-19 affects people in all age groups, the ones with pre-existing diseases and health conditions, which is common in most elderly people, are more vulnerable to get severe illness.
What can be done to keep oneself safe from COVID-19?
The best practices advised by WHO to stay safe are as follows;
- Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue while sneezing and coughing. Also, make sure that the people around you maintain proper respiratory hygiene.
- Thoroughly clean hands with soap or an alcohol-based hand rub. Keep your hands clean at all times. Keeping hands clean reduces the chances of getting sick.
- Avoid frequent touching of eyes, mouth, and nose. There may be infectious germs in your hands that can be transferred to your nose, eyes, and mouth. This increases the risk of virus infection.
- Maintain a good physical distance between yourself and others. Avoid crowded places. WHO recommends maintaining at least 1-meter distance between each other.
- Self-isolate yourself and stay at home even if you have mild symptoms like cough, headache, or mild fever until you recover.