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10 COVID-19 Myths, Debunked

True or false? #COVID19Outbreak.

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Do you know what's even scarier than COVID-19? It's the myths about COVID-19. We've been hearing them for weeks now, and when COVID-19 cases began to unfold in Sri Lanka, things escalated. More and more of these myths and lies started to appear on social media creating an unnecessary buzz among the public.
 
It's a time to act responsibly, be on alert and educate ourselves so we can minimise the damage of what's to come. This piece is dedicated to debunking some of those popular COVID-19 related myths that are commonly found on social media platforms.  

"Hot/cold/snowy weather can kill COVID-19"

According to what scientists have observed so far, COVID-19 can be transmitted to any area, regardless of its climate. Therefore taking the recommended precautionary steps despite where you are, is quite important. 

"Drinking boiled garlic cures/prevents COVID-19"

As we discussed in one of our previous posts, garlic is heavily used to treat sore throat, nausea and common cold/flu-like illnesses, and it can strengthen your immune system due to its Allicin substance. However, boiled or otherwise, no evidence shows that garlic is capable of preventing or curing COVID-19.

"Hand dryers can kill COVID-19"

Photo credits: wikihow.com

This is more of an extension of the first myth, how warm weather could kill COVID-19. Hand dryers are not capable of killing the virus, but properly washing hands with soap before using the hand dryer can reduce the chance of you getting infected. 

"UV lamps can be used to sterilize hands against COVID-19"

Photo credits: Andrey Sukhachev

Unfortunately, no; UV lamps are not effective in this regard. According to the statement made by the World Health Organization (WHO), UV lamps should not be used to sterilise hands or any other areas of the skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

"Drinking vodka mitigates the risk of getting COVID-19"

Vodka is a good drink. And you can drink vodka, but it won't save you from COVID-19. This myth is more or less affiliated with the advice given to clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser. 

"Spraying chlorine or alcohol on the skin can protect you against COVID-19"

It is true that chlorine and alcohol are widely used to sanitise surfaces, but it has to be done under certain conditions. So spraying them on your skin when you feel like it would do more harm than good. Plus, it has zero impact on COVID-19.

"COVID-19 is just like the flu"

No, it is not. Most of the Coronavirus-related myths are built based on the fact it is just like the flu, but it's much serious than that. The virus that causes influenza and COVID-19 have similarities, and the infected can show more or less similar symptoms, but they're absolutely not the same. The flu can be caused by a number of different strains of influenza viruses, but COVID-19 is caused by one virus

"Rinsing the nose with saline protects against Coronavirus"

COVID-19 is no common cold, it's a respiratory infection. There are instances that common cold can be treated by regularly rinsing the nose of the infected with saline, but it does not have the same effect on respiratory infections

"Thermal scanners can diagnose Coronavirus"

Photo credits: nbcnews.com

If only diagnosing COVID-19 was that easy! Thermal scanners are not equipped to recognise COVID-19 infected people, but they can detect the ones with high body fever, which is one of the basic symptoms of COVID-19 disease.

"Drinking Coca-Cola effectively kills viruses in your body, including COVID-19"

How Coca-Cola can be used to clean things has been in discussion for a very long time. From baked-on grease and car batteries to oil stains and toilet bowls, the internet is filled with these videos and articles. Which is probably why this myth about how Coca-Cola can kill COVID-19 came into being. We're not sure how effective is Coca-Cola in sanitising surfaces, but there is no record of it having the ability to destroy COVID 19.

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