The havoc caused by Coronavirus or 2019 nCoV is an open secret. This novel virus has caused a loss of hundreds of human lives and thousands of individuals are infected with the Coronavirus, with a majority of cases in mainland China. The virus, which was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China now has an outreach in around 23 countries (USA, UK, Nepal, France, India, Australia, and Japan among others), as per the World Health Organization. The new virus has been declared as a public health emergency of global concern pertaining to the international outbreak of the new Coronavirus.
The WHO has urged China and other countries to boost ways to detect, treat and immunize against the virus and also to provide data, understanding, and know-how with WHO and the world, analysis preparedness and watch for gaps in resources, fight against false information and rumors. A wave of highly bonkers theories is doing rounds on the internet and otherwise. In order to debunk the myths surrounding this virus, a lot of effort is being put by international health organizations and officials working on the Coronavirus.
The following are a few of the false claims, myths or rumors dispelled that are out in the open and honestly, are quite absurd (During the first few days of the breakdown of the infection, a number of people searched Google to know if coronavirus infection is related to the Corona beer!!).
Antibiotics are suitable for treating the infection caused by a Coronavirus.
Fact: Antibiotics only work against bacteria. Viruses can only be treated with antivirals. So, any antibiotic has nearly no effect, be it preventive or for the sake of treatment. Although, antibiotics may be administered to patients who are hospitalized with the viral infection, in pursuit of preventing any accompanying bacterial infections.
Previously taken flu shots can prevent the viral infection.
Fact: There isn’t any vaccine for Coronavirus as of now. Scientists and clinicians around the world are working on developing vaccines against the virus, but have not found any luck yet. And flu shots are not effective against the Coronavirus. It is a novel virus that was little or not known before. So, you can still contract the virus if you have taken the flu shots in the past.
Pets are capable of spreading the virus.
Fact: No such evidence has been found that can state that pets like dogs or cats are the potential carriers of the Coronavirus. The study on the viable carriers is being carried out. But as a step of precaution, it is always suggested to wash your hands with disinfectant/soap after being in contact with pets. This is suggestive as it can protect you against pet-related bacterial infections.
Only elderly people are at risk of the virus.
Fact: The Coronavirus can infect people of any age group. A case of a 30 hour-old newborn was reported in China who was said to have contracted the infection while in the womb of its mother. So, based on all the reported cases, no trend can be seen based on the age of the infected people. However, elderly people and already sick people are more vulnerable to the virus and it may be due to a weakened or declining immune system.
Conventional and herbal medicines can treat coronavirus.
Fact: Presently, a lot of capital, both monetary and intellectual, is being invested in designing a treatment for the Coronavirus. But due to hard luck and little knowledge about the virus, no specific medicine has been confirmed as a potent treatment for the infection. Certain preventive measures like good respiratory and oral hygiene, with sanitation and proper food handling, are suggested to everybody. Although, treatment with required supportive care is provided to the patients in order to ease the symptoms that accompany the viral infection. So, garlic cloves or some magic water from the foothills of Himalaya care not guaranteed treatments for the Coronavirus infection.
Coronavirus is laboratory-created and was patented a few years back.
Fact: The images of the patent that are out on the internet are actually previous viruses such as SARS. The origin of Coronavirus is unknown, to date. A speculation of a possible origin in some UK research laboratory has no evidence supporting it. The misinformation is spreading due to the other viral members of the ‘Coronavirus’ family (SARS is a member, too). So, some people have confused the other viruses for this novel virus.
The above false claims and rumors are just a few against the infamous Coronavirus. A lot of people claim that the spread of the Coronavirus originated from bat soup. Due to the unavailability of any previous anecdotes relating to the virus and the emergence of such a high number of casualties, the management, treatment and prevention of the viral infection has become difficult. But a great deal of effort is being put to develop treatments and vaccines for the Coronavirus. Personal hygiene and sanitation are highly recommended. As the authorities are making forward developments with the Coronavirus, remain well-informed and aware in order to protect yourself from the Coronavirus.