Common COVID-19 myths
You might have read that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu. Or that you should gargle with bleach to prevent catching the virus. Unfortunately, the spread of rumors can be just as harmful as the spread of the virus. Sangita Dash, MD, addressed four common myths that have cropped up online and on social media.
Myth 1: COVID-19 isn’t any more serious than the flu. Some of the symptoms might be similar, but the viruses are not the same. COVID-19 is a new or “novel” virus. And because it’s new, our bodies have absolutely no immunity to it. COVID-19 has a higher mortality rate than the flu, especially among older people and those with conditions that compromise their immune systems.
Myth 2: I’m healthy so I don’t need to practice social distancing. Healthy people have gotten COVID-19. Even if you don’t show any symptoms, you could spread the virus to others who are at high risk. To make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing.
Myth 3: Consuming disinfectant can protect me from the virus. Household cleaners and disinfectants such as bleach are not intended for consumption. Gargling or drinking them can be harmful and even lead to death. Do not wash your hands with them, spray them on your body or inhale them. Disinfectants are manufactured for surface cleaning only.
Myth 4: COVID-19 only affects the old. Although older people and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk for having serious symptoms, COVID-19 has impacted people of every age and can be deadly. Everyone should take precautions to make sure they don’t spread the virus, for themselves and for others who are more vulnerable.
Before you believe or act on anything you’ve read online, Dr. Dash said it’s important to fact check. “Always verify the information by checking reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.”
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