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Coronavirus: Sorting Fact from Fiction

Eat more garlic. Hold your breath. These are just some of the Coronavirus health myths circulating across Social Media. We’ve debunked some of them and provided you with the facts so you can keep you and your family safe.

NOT TRUE: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing it means you don’t have Coronavirus

University of Maryland Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Faheem Younus1 tweeted on March 16: “Wrong: Most young patients with coronavirus will be able to hold their breath for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderly without the virus won’t be able to do it.”

NOT TRUE: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can kill the new Coronavirus

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body2. Spraying on such substances can be harmful to clothes or your eyes or mouth. Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used following the appropriate recommendations and instructions on-pack. The best way to protect your personal self is by frequently washing your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or clean them with an alcohol-based (at least 70%) hand sanitizer.

NOT TRUE: Coronavirus can't be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

From the evidence so far, Coronavirus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather3. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures such as frequently cleaning your hands, for at least 20 seconds, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and maintaining the recommended social distances measures.

NOT TRUE: Cold weather and snow kill the new Coronavirus

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new Coronavirus or other diseases4. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective ways to protect yourself against the new Coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands by washing them with soap and water or with alcohol-based (at least 70%) hand sanitizer, and regularly to cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in your home.

NOT TRUE: Eating garlic can protect you from Coronavirus

Garlic is a healthy food, but there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new Coronavirus5. For more myth busting have a listen to expert Chris Morris from the BBC or read Cleanipedia's article on Coronavirus fact-checking.

  1. USA Today

  2. World Health Organisation