Myths versus Facts
Myth: Cold weather eliminates the Coronavirus
Fact: The virus thrives in the human body, which has an average temperature around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the outside temperature or weather. Therefore cold weather does not eliminate the Coronavirus. To better protect yourself and your child, visit the 7 rules from the WHO.
Myth: The Coronavirus does not exist in hot and humid climate
Fact: From the evidence so far, the Coronavirus can be transmitted everywhere, including places with hot and humid weather. That’s why it’s important to follow WHO’s 7 protective rules wherever you live or might be traveling to.
Myth: Giving a child a hot bath will help prevent infection with the Coronavirus
Fact: Giving children a hot bath will not prevent them from catching the virus. Their body temperature will stay at 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of the bath or shower. Also be careful when giving a hot bath, because very hot water is harmful to your child. The best way to protect yourself and your child is to follow the 7 rules from the WHO.
Myth: The Coronavirus can be transmitted from mosquito bites
Fact: There has been no evidence to date to suggest that the Coronavirus can be transmitted by mosquitoes. The Coronavirus is a respiratory virus, which spreads mainly through droplets an infected person generates when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To better protect yourself and your child, visit the 7 rules from the WHO.
Myth: Thermal scanners can detect Coronavirus infection in infants
Fact: Thermal scanners are useful for detecting fever in a child (i.e. when they have a temperature), which might be due to infection with the Coronavirus or because of other reasons. However, they cannot detect an infection in a child who doesn’t have feverish symptoms. This is because children sometimes won’t show feverish symptoms at all, or because it takes between 2-10 days for people infected with the Coronavirus to develop a fever with high temperatures.
Myth: Rinsing a child’s nose with saline solution help prevents Coronavirus infection
Fact: There is no evidence that regularly rinsing with saline solution protects a child from respiratory infections such as the Coronavirus. However, regularly rinsing their nose with saline solution can help them recover from a common cold.
Myth: The Coronavirus doesn’t affect young people
Fact: People of all ages can be infected with the Coronavirus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill from the virus.
The WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, find out more here.
Myth: Antibiotics prevent and treat the Coronavirus
Fact: Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Therefore, antibiotics should not be used to prevent or treat a Coronavirus infection. However, in the case of hospitalization, a patient may receive antibiotics because they may also have a bacterial infection.
Myth: There are already medications that prevent or treat a Coronavirus infection
Fact: Unfortunately, to date, there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat the new Coronavirus. The WHO is currently working with institutions around world to speed up research and development into a vaccine and treatment. The best way to fight the virus is with our own antibodies; those infected with the virus should receive immediate care to relieve the symptoms.
Myth: Pneumonia vaccines can protect you against the Coronavirus
Fact: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the Coronavirus.
The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, and the WHO supports their efforts.
Although vaccines against pneumonia are not effective against COVID-19, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect you and your child’s health.
Myth: Hand dryers eliminate the Coronavirus
Myth: Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection lamps kill the Coronavirus
Fact: UV lamps should not be used to sterilize a child’s hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kills the Coronavirus
Fact: It is very dangerous to spray alcohol or chlorine over your child’s body as it can be harmful to the skin. Also, it won’t kill the viruses that have already entered the body. Be aware that whilst they can be useful to disinfect surfaces, alcohol and chlorine need to be used appropriately.
Myth: Eating garlic can help prevent infection with the Coronavirus
Fact: Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has ever protected people from the Coronavirus, adults and infants alike.