Human beings hate uncertainty. We are hardwired to seek information that helps us make sense of the world. So when the Coronavirus emerged in late 2019, and there were many unanswered questions, people raced to fill in the blanks. While experts sought to uncover the truth, wild claims and conspiracy theories filled the vacuum and made it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Here we look at some of the most common myths surrounding COVID-19 and why they should be ignored.
COVID-19 Myth: COVID-19 is just like the flu
COVID-19 can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, aches, and a cough. Both the seasonal flu and Coronavirus can present as a mild infection or one that is more serious. In rare cases, both can be fatal. However, experts believe COVID-19 is more fatal than flu due to its mortality rate of around 1.7% in the US. A death rate above 1% is higher than the flu.
COVID-19 Myth: Ingesting or injecting bleach can cure COVID-19
Bleach should never be ingested or injected. Bleach is a corrosive substance that can cause serious issues, such as tissue and blood vessel damage. While bleach can kill viruses and bacteria that are present on surfaces they are not designed for human consumption. If you do consume bleach seek immediate medical attention.
COVID-19 Myth: 5G spreads COVID-19
Early on in the pandemic, people claimed the Coronavirus could be spread by 5G electromagnetic signals. It was claimed that because Wuhan was one of China’s 5G trial cities it must have had something to do with the virus. A lot of the conspiracy around 5G was based on a paper which showed bacteria can communicate via electromagnetic signals. Coronavirus is a virus and not bacteria so this link does hold up. Furthermore, many countries that have no 5G coverage are suffering from the pandemic, such as Iran.
COVID-19 Myth: Coronavirus originated in a lab in China
There is no evidence to back this claim up. Experts now believe that COVID-19 made the jump from either a pangolin or a bat, just like the SARS or MERS viruses. A study published March 17 in the journal Nature Medicine found that the spike protein of COVID-19, would almost certainly have emerged in nature and not in a lab.
COVID-19 Myth: Children can’t get COVID-19
We know no one is safe from contracting COVID-19, even children. What we do know is that children are often asymptomatic and rarely have serious symptoms. Yet, the WHO has identified an inflammatory condition in children that may be triggered by COVID-19 in rare cases.
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