COVID-19: Myth vs. Reality
Article originally published April 20, 2020.
During this time of uncertainty, it’s increasingly important that you obtain your COVID-19 information from credible, trusted sources. In fact, both the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) advise that knowing the facts – and being able to separate them from fiction – is an important part of keeping you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Because the novel coronavirus has never been seen in the human population prior to the current outbreak, researchers, scientists and medical professionals are working around the clock to discover all they can about how it works, how it spreads and how it can be stopped.
Here you will find some of the most common misconceptions and myths related to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
Reality: Unfortunately, there are currently no medications that cure or prevent COVID-19. Antibiotics are only useful in fighting secondary bacterial infections, not the actual virus.
While current immunizations – like flu and pneumonia vaccines – are extremely important, they are not effective against COVID-19. A specially formulated coronavirus vaccine will need to be created, tested and distributed to protect against the virus.
Reality: You can become infected with COVID-19 regardless of where you live, the weather or the temperature. Cases have been reported in countries with all types of climates – including hot, humid and sunny environments.
The best way to protect yourself is to follow social distancing measures, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
Reality: Frequently consuming alcohol will not protect you from contracting COVID-19, and can increase your risk for additional health problems.
Reality: The only way to know whether or not you have COVID-19 is through laboratory testing. Breathing exercises alone cannot be used to determine the presence of COVID-19 or any other lung conditions.
Reality: COVID-19 can affect anybody, regardless of age.
Older individuals and those with existing or underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and COPD, are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalization.
Reality: COVID-19 is spread through human-to-human contact, specifically through respiratory droplets, like saliva and nasal discharge. There is no evidence that mosquitoes spread COVID-19.
Reality: If you believe you have contracted COVID-19, you should call your healthcare provider, stay home and self-isolate. Most people with COVID-19 will recover at home with mild to moderate symptoms. Hospitalization and testing may be necessary if symptoms worsen or become severe.
Reality: It’s possible to be a carrier of the novel coronavirus without showing symptoms. This means that even if you feel healthy, you may be putting others at risk.
To keep everyone safe, treat yourself as if you do have the virus, and change your behavior to keep from spreading it to others.
Reality: Healthcare providers remain open and prepared to care for you. Many facilities have implemented new policies to protect you and your loved ones; fear and anxiety should not keep you from seeking the medical care you need.
Contact your healthcare provider to learn more about appointment options and related safety precautions.