New Delhi: As the country settles into a lockdown to break the coronavirus’ chain of transmission, it’s also the time a flurry of messages will shoot back-and-forth on social media platforms delivering a mix of fact, fiction and paranoia.
ThePrint collates the top 10 myths doing the rounds, and gives you the facts.
Coronavirus spreads through pets
According to US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), “there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time”. However, it suggests, that all animals can carry germs. “It’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.”
Sonic vibrations will kill the virus
No evidence yet.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to citizens to raise a cheer for doctors, nurses, policemen and other personnel with emergency services, Indians were seen banging pots and pans, ringing bells and clapping at 5pm during the Janata curfew on 22 March.
There were several messages that claimed that the vibrations from the sounds can kill the virus. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.
A hot bath prevents coronavirus
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching coronavirus infections. “Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower.”
Drinking cow urine prevents COVID-19
There’s no evidence yet.
“There is no medical evidence to show that cow urine has anti-viral characteristics,” Dr Shailendra Saxena, of the Indian Virological Society, told BBC News.
“Moreover, using cow-dung could prove counter productive as bovine faecal matter could contain a coronavirus which might replicate in humans.”
Coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquitoes
Until today, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus infections can be transmitted through mosquitoes. “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,” WHO said.
Not safe to eat outside food
There’s no evidence yet.
While you may want to wipe down the packaging and containers after receiving the food, there is presently no evidence to suggest coronavirus is transmitted through food, CDC said.
“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures,” the CDC said.
Eating garlic helps prevention
While garlic contains anti-microbial properties, there is no evidence that consumption of garlic reduces the risk of COVID19 infections.
Marijuana kills coronavirus
In fact, it may weaken the lungs to ward off the virus attack. According to the American Lung Association, smoking marijuana can also damage lungs and potentially affect the immune system and its ability to ward off diseases. Coronavirus is an infection which potentially affects the working of lungs and respiratory system.
Coronavirus will go away in summer
According to the CDC, “it is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.”
At present, it is unknown whether the spread of the new disease will decrease when the weather becomes warmer.
Imported Chinese goods put you at risk
WHO says researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. “As of this writing, scientists note that most viruses like this one do not stay alive for very long on surfaces, so it is not likely you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks,” it said.
However, the virus can remain effective on hard surfaces like metal, glass and plastic between 2 hours to 9 days.