There is a lot of misinformation circulating on the internet about the coronavirus which has so far spread to several parts of the world.
Rumours being spread on the interwebs have, for example, in Kenya caused panic which on Friday translated into panic shopping and hiking of prices.
While Kenya has only confirmed three cases of COVID-19, more people continue to work from home as learning is suspended in schools and universities.
Anyway, let us help you debunk some of the lies or myths you might have heard from the interwebs.
1. You Need To Be Close To Someone For 10 Minutes To Contract Covid-19
While it’s true that one can contract coronavirus after interacting with an infected person for longer periods, shorter interaction periods will also leave you vulnerable to the virus.
Apart from interacting with a sneezing or coughing person, you can also transmit the virus from contaminated surfaces.
2. You Need A Face Mask
Taking care of yourself should be your number one priority. But a face mask will not prevent the virus from penetrating your body.
Remember, coronavirus can be transmitted through your eyes. A mask might not be the way to go as the virus is transported through tiny particles, called aerosols, that can penetrate masks.
Masks are however recommended for health practitioners dealing directly with the sick.
So please go easy on the white face masks!
3. Contracting Covid-19 Means Death
It is true that thousands of people have died from coronavirus but it is also true that thousands others have recovered.
According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 81 per cent of those infected have mild cases of the Coronavirus and only 2.3 per cent of those infected have lost their lives.
Death rates in the city of origin, Wuhan, have significantly dropped.
Instead of panicking, you should thoroughly clean your hands.
4. Pets Can Transmit COVID-19
For the animal lovers, you need not kick out the little fellow because you are scared they can transmit the virus.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that dogs and cats cannot transmit the coronavirus.
You should take this “self-isolation” period to get to know your pet better.
5. Coronavirus is Nothing Like The Flu
Covid-19 is not your basic flu but the symptoms – runny nose, fever, cough, sore throat – are similar.
The difference, however, experts say is the graver mortality rates.
6. Drinking Water To Flush The Virus Into Your Stomach, Where Acid Will Kill It
Well, there is hydrochloric acid in the stomach but it will not kill coronavirus.
Drinking plenty of water will on the brighter side keep you hydrated.
7. Spraying Alcohol Or Chlorine All Over Your Body
WHO says that spraying these substances will not kill viruses that are already in your body. The chemicals will surely harm your mucous membranes and your clothes.
The good news is, they can be used to disinfect surfaces if properly used.
8. You Can Protect Yourself From COVID-19 By Gargling Bleach Or Taking Salt Water, Ethanol
You Need not gargle bleach or take ethanol to avoid contracting the virus.
These, Johns Hopkins say are harmful.
The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands properly and practicing respiratory hygiene.