COVID-10 UPDATE : Myth busters (www.who.it)

As the numbers of confirmed cases increase in Kenya, it is natural for you to look for something to believe in and hold on to during this period and as such, it is easy to fall prey to misleading information available online such as the forwards currently making rounds on social media.

Here are some of the myths that the WHO have sought to demystify(WHO advice for the public: Myth busters)

 

  • 5G DOES NOT spread COVID-19

Viruses cannot travel via radio waves or mobile networks. It can be spread  through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The virus can also be spread when persons touch infected surfaces.

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. 

 

  • Exposing yourself to the sun and/or temperatures higher than 25°C degrees such as taking a hot bath DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and there has not been a proven case where exposure to the sun and/or high temperature (such as a hot bath) has prevented infection.  

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. 

 

  • You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life. Currently, most patients recover thanks to supportive care. 

Should you experience a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and call SUMC EMERGENCY LINE : 0701 668 193 first. 

 

  • Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.

 

The best way to confirm if you have the virus-producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test.  You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.

Should you experience a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and call SUMC EMERGENCY LINE : 0701 668 193 first.

 

  • Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

  • COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. 

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

  • The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. 

To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

 

  • Hand dryers are NOT effective in killing the new coronavirus.

To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.

 

  • Ultraviolet disinfection lamps CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.

UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

  • Thermal scanners are NOT effective in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus but they can detect people who have developed a fever which is one of the symptoms of COVID – 19.

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever which is one of the symptoms of COVID-19.  However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Should you experience a cough, fever, difficulty breathing and a fever with a temperature higher than 37.3°C, seek medical care early and call SUMC EMERGENCY LINE : 0701 668 193 first.

 

  • Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). 

Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Should you experience a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and call SUMC EMERGENCY LINE : 0701 668 193  first.

 

  • Vaccines against pneumonia DOES NOT protect you from the new coronavirus.

Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Should you experience a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first.

 

  • Regularly rinsing your nose with saline DOES NOT help prevent infection of the new coronavirus.

There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. This includes any local concoction that you might hear about or find online.

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

  • Eating garlic DOES NOT help prevent infection of the new coronavirus

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus. 

Taking foods rich in Vitamin C or OMEGA 3 boosts immunity but does not protect people from the new coronavirus. 

Take care of your health in general by eating right and exercising but to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

  • The new coronavirus affects people of all ages.

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

 

  • Antibiotics are NOT effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. Coronavirus is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible. Further, it is good medical practice to not self medicate, so buying and hoarding drugs from the pharmacy is highly discouraged.

To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Should you experience a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first.

 

  • There are NO specific medicines currently that prevent or treat the new coronavirus.

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), this includes some of the homemade remedies that people are coming up with. 

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. 

Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

It is best to take the advice circulating on social media platforms with a pinch of salt and DO NOT spread such information. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Follow the government advisory and STAY SAFE and STAY AT HOME.

You can reach out to us with any queries that you may have

#SUMCwithyou.

SUMC EMERGENCY LINE: 0701 668 193

SUMC MEDICAL TEAM: 0722 777 459, 0776 555 166

SUMC MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINES: 0724 255 169 / 0793 380 485

Email:  sumedicalcentre@strathmore.edu

Website link: https://sumc.strathmore.edu/

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