Busting Coronavirus myths: Misinformation, fake messages find a breeding ground in COVID19 Outbreak

FE Online
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The pandemic brought by Coronavirus has shook the world forcing people to sit back and wonder what word could possibly express the overwhelming and unprecedented nature of the crisis. The world has witnessed many plagues and epidemics before but in affecting almost all the countries on a global scale the virus has wreaked unprecedented havoc on the planet. Inability to tackle the spread of virus has brought even the world’s most powerful countries and their leaders at their wits’ end. In such circumstances, misinformation and panic is at its peak with markets erasing hard-earned wealth and whatsapp messages flooding phones with misinformation.

The spread of misinformation is such that Unicef had to step in and disclaim the home remedies that are doing the rounds on social media and Whatsapp. Solutions ranging from drinking alcohol to avoiding ice cream to doing gargles with hot water are some of the most wide spread misinformation related to Coronavirus. Moreover, authorities like UNICEF are being quoted at the end of such fake messages to cloak them with a cover of authority. Here are some of the most common myths associated with the Coronavirus.

How does the Virus spread?
The virus is not spreading in the atmosphere just like pollution and is characterised as a droplet infection which spreads when an infected person coughs and sneezes without any mask or cover. The best way to stem its spread is by maintaining a distance of at least one metre from the person who is coughing or sneezing. The virus may remain active on the surface of things which may have come in contact with the droplet for few hours and then get inactive.

Does mercury have a connection with the Virus?
American President Donald Trump appeared optimistic in one of his statements when he said that the spread of the virus will subside with approaching summers. However, there is not much scientific evidence that proves that the virus cannot survive in hot temperature.

Is wearing masks compulsory?
Not really, the people who are healthy and showing no symptoms can do without a mask. However, those suffering from cough and fever are advised to wear a mask all the time to stop the spread of the virus.

Are sanitisers the only way to clean your hands?
No. Sanitisers cannot replace the soap hand wash which is most effective in combating the virus. Sanitisers are only to be used at times when you are not in a situation to wash your hands with soap.

Are pets also coming in the grip of the virus?
No such case has been reported so far in the world. The virus is believed to have originated from an animal but its further transmission from humans to animals has not been reported so far.