It's been nearly six months since coronavirus first hit the world and scientists have given some knowledge about the coronavirus pandemic, but rumours and myths about the COVID-19 disease are still being spread and shared extensively on social media platforms such WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. The coronavirus pandemic is deadly and highly contagious. It has killed nearly four lakh people and infected more than 6.8 million globally.
Given the nature of the pandemic and fear surrounding it, people often believe in social media myths as most of them are attributed to imaginary doctors and in some cases people who have been infected and treated. Although it's has been quite some time since the virus came, it is important that the myths are busted again and again.
Below are some of the coronavirus related myths and truth behind them
Myth 1: Avoid shipped packages/gas pumps/shopping carts/ATMs or you'll die.
Reality: According to Dr. Faheem Younus, chief of infectious diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, this is completely wrong. "Coronavirus surface survival is one thing; that surface causing an infection is another. Wash your hands; live your life," Dr. Younus said.
Myth 2: You can catch COVID-19 from ordering takeout food/Chinese food (or the packaging of food).
Reality: "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," Dr. Younus says.
Myth 3: Twenty minutes of a sauna can kill more than 90% of viruses, including coronavirus.
Reality: The doctors believe otherwise. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the sauna can kill coronavirus. However, saunas can cause pneumonia, folliculitis, etc.
Myth 4: If you lose your sense of smell, you have COVID.
Reality: This one is among the most-shared coronavirus myths. However, the reality is that losing sense of smell is one of the common symptoms of several infections and allergies. "It's a non-specific symptom that may or may not happen with COVID," Dr Younus said.
Myth 5: Using garlic/lemon with hot water/onion in the room will prevent or cure COVID-19. Is it true?
Reality: Doctors are of the view that this is "just made up stuff". As of now, the effect of these substances against COVID-19 has not been studied and it is advised not to share such posts as they create unnecessary confusion.