As the human coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread, so do rumors and myths. While disease centers and experts scramble to research the virus so they can develop a vaccine, there are a few things we can do to help prevent it. However, it’s important to separate the facts from the fiction regarding coronavirus prevention.
Below are some of the most common myths and some expert opinions about them.
Myth 1: Face Masks Prevent the Coronavirus From Spreading
Stores across the country are selling out of face masks as people seek ways to protects themselves against the deadly human coronavirus. This has made face masks one of the most hotly debated topics online. While it gives some people a sense of control when it comes to protecting themselves, renowned doctors, medical experts and even the Surgeon General, Jerome M. Adams, state that masks have not been proven to be effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
In fact, this past Saturday, the Surgeon General tweeted:
“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if health care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
Wearing a mask really only helps when people with symptoms of coronavirus wear it to help prevent its spread.
Myth #2: Spraying Alcohol or Chlorine on Your Body Kills Coronaviruses
Some people have taken to spraying their body with chlorine and alcohol for coronavirus prevention. While they may be good for disinfecting some surfaces, chlorine and alcohol cannot kill viruses already in your body. Spraying them on yourself or clothes can cause harm to your eyes, mouth and other mucous membranes in your body.
Myth #3: Hand Dryers Kill Human Coronaviruses
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) hand dryers do not kill human coronaviruses. While one of the fundamentals of coronavirus prevention is simply to wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day, hand dryers are not part of the protocol.
Myth #4: Ultraviolet Disinfection Lamps Kill Coronaviruses
While hospitals and medical facilities use ultraviolet (UV) light to sterilize microbes on surfaces, it is not safe for use on human skin. According to WHO, UV light can cause skin irritation and damage.
Myth #5: Thermal Scanners Detect Coronavirus Infection
While thermal scanners detect fevers, they do not specifically detect coronaviruses. Since people suffering from colds and flus may also get a fever, thermal scanners are not an accurate means of coronavirus detection. Since it takes between two and 10 days for people infected with COVID-19 to show symptoms and develop a fever, thermal scanners will not detect anything in people not yet showing symptoms.
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