COVID-19 VIRUS, MYTH VS FACT

There’s a lot of interviews and information in non medical general population of Nepal circulating about COVID-19, the disease caused by the new corona virus, so it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not.

Dr.Sunil Bhandari
Medical Officer
Kathmandu Neuro & General Hospital
Sundhara, Kathmandu, Nepal

1.TRUE or FALSE? You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by injecting, swallowing, bathing in or rubbing onto your body bleach, disinfectants or rubbing alcohols?

The answer is false.

These products are highly toxic and should never be swallowed or injected into the body.

Disinfectants, bleach and soap and water may be used to clean surfaces, an important prevention step in stopping the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus that’s led to the global pandemic. Never attempt to self-treat or prevent COVID-19 by rubbing or bathing with bleach, disinfectants or rubbing alcohol anywhere on your body. Effective hand sanitizers do have alcohol, but they are formulated to be safe for use on hands.

2. TRUE or FALSE? A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available?

The answer is false.

High-profile Covid-19 vaccines developed in Russia and China share a potential shortcoming: They are based on a common cold virus that many people have been exposed to, potentially limiting their effectiveness, some experts say.

CanSino Biologics’ vaccine, approved for military use in China, is a modified form of adenovirus type 5, or Ad5. The company is in talks to get emergency approval in several countries before completing large-scale trials, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

A vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, approved in Russia earlier this month despite limited testing, is based on Ad5 and a second less common adenovirus.

“The Ad5 concerns me just because a lot of people have immunity,” said Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University. “I’m not sure what their strategy is … maybe it won’t have 70% efficacy. It might have 40% efficacy, and that’s better than nothing, until something else comes along.



3. TRUE or FALSE? The new coronavirus was deliberately created or released by people?

The answer is false.

Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.

4. TRUE or FALSE? Ordering or buying products shipped from overseas will make a person sick?

The answer is false.

Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. As of this writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19 from a commercial package is low since it has likely traveled over several days and been exposed to different temperatures and conditions during transit.

For instance, a small amount of the new coronavirus is still detectable on plastic surfaces for up to three days, on stainless steel for up to two days and up to one day on cardboard, but it’s at less than 0.1% of the starting virus material.

5. True or False. Can humans get corona virus from dogs or cats?

The answer is yes.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-COV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-COV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

At this time, experts recommend keeping pets indoors or avoiding socialization of pets with other animals, and maintaining good hygiene when handling or caring for your animals.

  • Wash your hands before and after interacting with animals.
  • Don’t kiss your pets or let them lick you or share your food.
  • Walk dogs on a leash. Do not allow pets to interact with people or other animals outside of the household.

6. True or False. Is the corona virus worse than the flu? Why are there travel restrictions and canceled events?

The answer is yes.

  • At present, there is no vaccine for this new coronavirus as there is for many forms of the flu. No one has immunity from the new coronavirus, because it’s new to human beings. The new coronavirus is contagious, and can cause severe disease, even death

7. True or False. If corona virus is more fatal to extreme ages with multiple co-morbidities, why in case of Nepal ,we have more fatality to young population?

·         The Answer is yes.

  • Right now, it appears that COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, causes more cases of severe disease and more deaths than the seasonal flu. People over age 85 and children under 15 have the highest risk of fatality but this could change as more people are tested and trends become clearer.
  • However it seems like dependent population of Nepal are more cautious with disease. They avoid unnecessary movements. They are inside home safely without the risk of exposure.so the cases in dependent population of Nepal is less than the working population of Nepal.

8. True or False. Is the corona virus spread by the airborne route?

·         The answer is yes.

  • Possibly. In addition to spreading by respiratory droplets, smaller particles containing the coronavirus might linger in the air for longer periods of time. Scientific evidence suggests that small viral particles may remain aloft in the air for several hours under experimental conditions. People often catch COVID-19 after being indoors, close to infected people who may or may not have symptoms. All of this suggests that there may be an airborne component to the transmission of this virus.
  • The possibility of the coronavirus being contagious through the air is why it is so important to wear masks at all times, except when you are at home with your family. Masks prevent respiratory droplets from spreading, not only when you cough and sneeze, but also when you are talking, singing or exercising.

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