With information constantly changing, it’s hard to keep up. We’re here to safeguard your family’s health by helping you separate the facts from common misconceptions about the new coronavirus.
Myth #1: Children, teens and young adults don’t get COVID-19.
Fact: Everyone, young and old, can carry or become sick from the virus. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 21% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in people younger than age 64.
Myth #2: COVID-19 cannot thrive in the heat.
Fact: While it’s possible that heat could play a role in killing off COVID-19, we can’t be certain without further study. In the meantime, it’s best to assume that the pandemic could last well into the summer months and plan accordingly.
Myth #3: COVID-19 can spread through food and drinking water.
Fact: There’s currently no evidence to suggest you can develop COVID-19 by eating food or drinking water that’s been exposed to the virus. However, you can catch COVID-19 after touching packaging that has the virus on it.
Myth #4: COVID-19 can be passed from pet to owner (and vice versa).
Fact: Experts believe animals don’t play a significant role in spreading COVID-19, but at this time it’s also not safe to assume with certainty that they cannot transmit the virus. Washing your hands is an important part of reducing the spread of germs when handling your pets, their food, and their equipment.
Myth #5: If you have COVID-19, you’ll know it.
Fact: The data gathered so far suggests that many infected with COVID-19 will have no symptoms at all. To further complicate matters, symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear from the time you first come in contact with the virus.
Myth #6: Antibiotics can help prevent and treat COVID-19.
Fact: Antibiotics work on bacterial infections, not viruses like COVID-19. Only take an antibiotic if your doctor prescribes it.
Myth #7: It’s unsafe to take ibuprofen to relieve COVID-19 symptoms.
Fact: Since we’re still learning about the new coronavirus, the data isn’t clear. At this point, there’s no proven, direct link between the use of ibuprofen and worsened COVID-19 outcomes.
Myth #8: Consuming or using cleaning products on your body can kill COVID-19.
Fact: Cleaning products cannot kill COVID-19 once they’ve entered your body. Drinking chlorine, alcohol or bleach, or spraying it on your body, is extremely dangerous.
Myth #9: Homemade, cloth face coverings aren’t effective.
Fact: COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets created when a person coughs, sneezes or talks. Cloth face coverings, even those made at home, can help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Myth #10: Wearing gloves will decrease your chance of getting COVID-19.
Fact: To date, no official recommendations have been made to wear gloves when you’re out in public. In fact, many experts believe that wearing gloves could cause more harm than good. Since people tend to touch their face more often when they wear gloves, they could actually be increasing their risk of getting the virus.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
To reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, you should:
- Avoid touching your face.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when in public.
- Keep at least 6ft away from other people.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and World Organisation for Animal Health