The Novel Coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, has spread from Wuhan, China, to every continent on Earth except Antarctica.

As we write this feature, there have been more than 92,000 confirmed cases and over 3,100 deaths.

As ever, when the word “pandemic” starts appearing in headlines, people become fearful, and with fear come misinformation and rumors.

Here, we will dissect some of the most common myths that are currently circulating on social media and beyond.

1. Rinsing the nose with saline protects against coronavirus

There is no evidence that a saline nose rinse protects against respiratory infections. Some research suggests that this technique might reduce the symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections, but scientists have not found that it can reduce the risk of infection.

2. You can protect yourself by gargling bleach

There are no circumstances in which gargling bleach might benefit your health. Bleach is corrosive and can cause serious damage.

3. Antibiotics kill coronavirus

Antibiotics only kill bacteria; they do not kill viruses.

4. Thermal scanners can diagnose coronavirus

Thermal scanners can detect whether someone has a fever. However, other conditions, such as seasonal flu, can also produce fever.

In addition, symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2–10 days after infection, which means that someone infected with the virus could have a normal temperature for a few days before a fever begins.

5. Garlic protects against coronaviruses

Some research suggests that garlic might slow the growth of some species of bacteria. However, COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and there is no evidence that garlic can protect people against COVID-19.

6. Parcels from China can spread coronavirus

From previous research into similar coronaviruses, including those that cause SARS and MERS and are similar to SARS-CoV-2, scientists believe that the virus cannot survive on letters or packages for an extended time.

The CDC explained that “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”

7. Home remedies can cure and protect against COVID-19

No home remedies can protect against COVID-19, including vitamin C, essential oils, silver colloid, sesame oil, garlic, and sipping water every 15 minutes.

The best approach is to adopt a good handwashing regimen and to avoid places where there may be unwell people.

8. You can catch coronavirus from eating Chinese food in the U.S.

No, you cannot.

9. You can catch coronavirus from urine and feces

It is unlikely that this is true. According to Prof. John Edmunds from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the U.K.:

“It isn’t a very pleasant thought, but every time you swallow, you swallow mucus from your upper respiratory tract. In fact, this is an important defensive mechanism. This sweeps viruses and bacteria down into our gut where they are denatured in the acid conditions of our stomachs.”

“With modern, very highly sensitive detection mechanisms, we can detect these viruses in feces. Usually, viruses we can detect in this way are not infectious to others, as they have been destroyed by our guts.”

10. The virus will die off when temperatures rise in the spring

Some viruses, such as cold and flu viruses, do spread more easily in the colder months, but that does not mean that they stop entirely when conditions become milder. As it stands, scientists do not know how temperature changes will influence the behavior of SARS-CoV-2.

11. Coronavirus is the deadliest virus known to man

Although SARS-CoV-2 does appear to be more serious than influenza, it is not the deadliest virus that people have faced. Others, such as Ebola, have higher mortality rates.

12. Flu and pneumonia vaccines protect against COVID-19

As SARS-CoV-2 is different than other viruses, no existing vaccines protect against infection.

13. The virus originated in a laboratory in China

Despite the swathes of internet rumors, there is no evidence that this is the case. Some researchers believe that SARS-CoV-2 may have jumped from pangolins to humans. Others think that it might have passed to us from bats, which was the case for SARS.

14. The outbreak began because people ate bat soup

Although scientists are confident that the virus started in animals, there is no evidence that it came from a soup of any kind.

What should we do?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend these simple measures to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2:

avoid close contact with people who seem sick
try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
stay at home if you are sick
sneeze into a tissue, then throw it in the trash
if there are no tissues to hand, sneeze into the crook of your elbow
use standard cleaning sprays and wipes to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
wash your hands with soap regularly for 20 seconds
Unless you are a health worker or are caring for someone who is sick, the CDC does not recommend wearing face masks. The tips above might seem simplistic, but during an epidemic, these are the best ways to make a difference.

Author's Bio: 

I am Bapi Sarkar A Health-Related blogger. I am Also a Health writer. I am Live in Kolkata, Saltlake