Coronavirus – Myths vs Facts

The coronavirus outbreak has now been declared as a global public health emergency. The novel coronavirus which first originated in the Wuhan province in China has now spread to several neighboring countries.

The virus named 2019-nCoV was first documented in late December. Since then around 14,000 cases have been confirmed in China. As of 3rd February, more than 300 people have been killed.

The international community has started to take severe precautions to stop the spread of the disease. Countries like the United States and Russia have begun to evacuate their citizens from the danger zone in the Wuhan province in China. International airports around the world have started screening protocols to identify potentially infected passengers.

On-arrival visas are being postponed for all flights arriving from China. Passengers arriving from China are undergoing the examination and if necessary, quarantine to eliminate the risk of spreading the virus in foreign countries.

Along with the spread of the mysterious virus, various rumors and myths are also surfacing about its origin and treatment.  Most of these rumors are false and they may cause mass hysteria and panic fi not rooted out. Moreover, misconceptions may further the damage caused by this already deadly virus.

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So in this article, we will focus on the myths regarding the novel coronavirus.

Myths regarding Novel Coronavirus

The following are the most common myths and misconceptions about the new coronavirus:

It spreads through pet animals:

There is a popular theory that the novel coronavirus has jumped from domestic animals to humans. However, there is no evidence to suggest the household pets can acquire or spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

It is true that most of the coronaviruses affect animals. Only 7 strains are known to affect human beings. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is an example of this. Its exact origin is still under investigation.

Antibiotics can treat Novel Coronavirus:

No Antibiotic medication can treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Antibiotic drugs are only effective against bacterial infection. Coronavirus is a virus. So, antibiotics have no effect on treating them.

However, if you have been prescribed antibiotics for coronavirus infection, it might be to prevent bacterial co-infection associated with the weak immune system.

Specific medication can treat Novel Coronavirus:

There is no specific medication for novel coronavirus till now.

The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is still very elusive. However, symptomatic care and support to treat the patients have shown promise to improve the condition in case of severe illness. The WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts to investigate the n0vel coronavirus and develop specific treatment or preventive measures.

It only affects the elderly:

Anybody can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

People with a history of respiratory system illnesses such as asthma, pneumonia, etc. are more vulnerable to infection. Similarly, weakened immune systems like that of children or the elderly are also at a higher risk of being infected by a coronavirus.

It is fatal:

The novel coronavirus is a deadly disease. However, it is not fatal.

Since its appearance in late December last year, 14,380 cases have been confirmed in China and there have been 300 fatalities. The mortality rate for the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is 2%.

In this day and age, it’s necessary to stay informed about all the aspects of this global outbreak and also not be swayed by rumors and myths. By being aware of the facts you can drastically reduce your chance of being affected.

Read more about coronavirus here.

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I'm a medical student from Bangladesh. As a doctor in the making, I'm fascinated by the regular advancements of medical science. This fuels my passion for trying to follow a health-conscious lifestyle. I love writing and sharing thoughts and ideas. I hope that my work can reach out and help people to enjoy a healthy, happy life. Muhtasim Munir MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College

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