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How the Coronavirus/COVID-19 started

The first confirmed case of coronavirus dates back to November 17, 2019. According to South China Morning Post, A Hubei resident of age 55 was the first person to be infected by a novel coronavirus.

As of today, the number of reported coronavirus cases has reached 436,000 cases and the numbers keep on rising. China, Italy, Spain, Iran, Germany and the United States of America collectively report 250,000 cases and the numbers are increasing daily. A lot of fake news and myths are shared through WhatsApp related to coronavirus.

Here I have debunked some myths related to COVID-19.

 

Coronavirus will go away in Summer months.

WRONG. As we enter summer, there will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The virus is global. Previous pandemics didn’t reveal any weather patterns.

The virus will spread more due to mosquito bites.

WRONG. This infection is spread via respiratory droplets, not blood. Mosquitos don’t increase the spread.

If you can hold your breath for ten seconds without discomfort, you don’t have Coronavirus.

WRONG. Most young patients with Coronavirus will be able to hold their breaths for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderly without the virus won’t be able to do it.

Since COVID testing is unavailable/limited, we should donate blood. The blood bank will test for it.

WRONG. No blood bank is testing for Coronavirus so this attempt will fail. Blood donation is a sacred exercise; let’s make sure we are motivated by the right reasons.

Coronavirus lives in the throat. So drink lots of water so the virus is pushed into the stomach where the acid will kill it.

WRONG. The virus may gain entry via throat but it penetrates into the host cells. You can’t wash it away. Excessive water will make you run to the toilet.

All this social distancing is an overreaction. You’ll see that the virus won’t cause much damage.

WRONG. If we don’t see many infections (I hope) it actually will prove that social distancing worked. Social distancing the only weapon right now to fight COVID-19.

Car accidents kill 30,000 people annually. What’s the big deal with COVID-19?

WRONG. A car accident is not contagious, their fatalities don’t double every three days, they don’t cause mass panic or a market crash.

Hand sanitizers are better than soap and water.

WRONG. Soap and water actually kill and washes away the virus from the skin (it can not penetrate our skin cells) plus it also cleans visible soiling if hands. Don’t worry if Purrell was sold out at your supermarket.

One of the best strategies to prevent COVID-19 is to clean every doorknob in your home with disinfectants.

WRONG. Hand washing/maintaining 6ft distance is best practice. Unless you’re caring for a COVID patient at home, your home surfaces should not be a big risk.

COVID-19 was deliberately spread by (depending upon your politics) the American or Chinese military.

WRONG. It happened because of how we are treating the environment and our contact with wildlife when we destroy their habitats. Also, the bigfoot doesn’t exist and this is not a simulation.

Avoid shipped packages/gas pumps/shopping carts/ATMs or you’ll die.

WRONG. Coronavirus surface survival is one thing; that surface causing an infection is another. Wash your hands; live your life.

You can catch COVID-19 from ordering takeout food/Chinese food (or the packaging of food).

WRONG. COVID-19 is a droplet related infection (like flu) not a food-borne infection (like salmonella etc.). There is no documented COVID risk with take-out food.

Going into a sauna for 20 min can kill more than 90% of viruses, including coronavirus.

WRONG. There are no scientific trials to suggest the validity of this claim. On the contrary, saunas can cause pneumonia, folliculitis, etc.

If you lose your sense of smell, you have coronavirus.

WRONG. It’s common to temporarily lose one’s sense of smell with many viral infections/allergies. It’s a non-specific symptom that may or may not happen with COVID-19.

Taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin preemptively is a good idea to prevent COVID-19.

WRONG. These (experimental) drugs for coronavirus should only be used in selected coronavirus patients. They can sometimes cause fatal heart rhythm problems plus other side effects.

Using garlic/lemon with hot water/onion in the room will prevent or cure COVID-19.

WRONG. No, it’s just made up stuff. None of these substances have been scientifically tested against COVID. Don’t share such posts; they create confusion.

Always change your clothes/shower after coming home. Or you will bring coronavirus to your family.

WRONG. Cleanliness is a virtue; paranoia isn’t. Let’s not scare people. Our biggest return on investment is in handwashing, staying 6 feet away, avoiding large crowds, etc.

But the messages I receive are from doctors in China/Italy. Why shouldn’t I believe them?

WRONG. Real doctors publish their research in scientific journals, not on social media. Lots of good research is already published. Let’s not fuel misinformation.

Can Coronavirus mutate and become airborne?

WRONG. No. Even when viruses mutate, their mode of transmission does not change. Influenza virus has mutated many times, but it remains a droplet infection.

Can my pet catch COVID-19? Can I catch COVID from my pet?

WRONG. Extremely unlikely. CDC hasn’t received any reports of pets becoming sick with coronavirus. But good hand hygiene and common sense must prevail.

I just developed a sore throat and a runny nose. Is it COVID? Should I go to the hospital?

WRONG. Don’t know. But chances are you may have a seasonal virus (Flu, RSV, Rhinovirus, etc.). Stay home. Hospitals won’t do a test and you’ll likely wait in the ED for hours.

I’ve heard that coronavirus thrives in cold sinuses. So if you blow-dry your nose with warm air, it kills the virus. True?

WRONG. False! Please don’t. Our nose carries bacteria, as part of normal flora. Those bacteria may get confused.

You can watch live world data of Coronavirus from here.