Coronavirus (COVID-19): The truth against the myths

new coronavirus picture

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Laura Regelskytė, a third-year medical student at the Medicine Faculty of Vilnius University, Lithuania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Nowadays, in this cold world of science myths are blossoming. However, every myth has a logical sequence which depends on a person’s understanding and perception of a situation. While following a huge amount of discussions about 2019-nCoV, better known as a coronavirus, it can be seen well. What are the main parts in which myths about 2019-nCov appear? And what is the truth?

Spreading

Envelopes, packages, pets. In various pages these objects are often described as potentially dangerous. When there was not much data about the coronavirus, everything was possible and every situation was considered as a threat. Nevertheless, now it is clear that 2019-nCoV spreads from human to human when they have a close contact and the virus does not live long on surfaces. Besides, 2019-nCoV cannot be transmitted from animals to humans if an animal does not have the virus. Thus, the assumption about spreading though things or from pets, that recently was considered possible, is becoming a myth now.

Prevention

If people are frightened that the coronavirus circulates somewhere near them, they try to protect themselves. And then a fear begins to create a myth in which a garlic, mineral solutions for rinsing a nose and sesame oil become preventive remedies. Nonetheless, these objects do not establish any evidence of efficiency. The truth is that there is no particular prevention for this virus, thus it is based on hygiene and isolation of infected people. It reduces a possibility of the virus to appear in environment and prevents spreading of the disease. Therefore, it is better to wash hands with a soap, avoid a contact with people who feel unwell or cover a mouth while coughing or sneezing because it will have a positive result.

Treatment

There are no special drugs for 2019-nCoV, therefore the treatment is based on relieving symptoms and preventing complications such as pneumonia or acute respiratory syndrome. It must be empathized that some remedies are not efficient on the virus and even can be harmful. For instance, antibiotics do not kill viruses at any circumstances because it is a virus, not bacteria. In addition to that, drinking bleach can cause severe damage like vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure or acute liver failure. Thus, before taking “a drug”, a person should be ensured that it works and does not give drawbacks for health.

Conclusion

All these parts have common characteristics. It can be understood why sometimes people believe in effect of garlic or mineral solutions. But there always exists a confrontation between logical sequence of a myth and scientific evidence. However, the basic knowledge of epidemiology and microbiology gives beneficial guidelines how to protect society and what individuals should do at a beginning of epidemics. A further research provides more findings. This is how the science gives a power against any disease.

References

  1. Myth busters. Address: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
  2. Brueck H. 10 myths about the coronavirus, including a link to meat-eating and imported packages. Business Insider. Address: https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-coronavirus-myths-red-meat-bleach-antibiotics-and-sesame-oil-2020-2

About the author

This article was written for The European Sting by Ms. Laura Regelskytė, a third-year medical student at the Medicine Faculty of Vilnius University, Lithuania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

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