5 Top COVID Myths According To The WHO

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: April 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the most covered news stories in history. Among the deluge of social media and news coverage, there is also misinformation. The Pew Research Center found that about half the public (48%) say they’ve been exposed to some made-up news or information about the virus. To set the record straight, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a set of myth busters on COVID-19. Below are 5 of these most common myths.

Q: Am I safe from COVID-19 as a younger adult with no chronic conditions?
A: People of all ages are susceptible to the virus. However, older adults with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) are more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill. According to the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 1 in 4 people infected show no symptoms. These asymptomatic people are still able to spread the virus to others. Thus, experts including those at the CDC and WHO recommend people of all ages take preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Q: Can the COVID-19 virus spread in hot environments greater than 77° F (25° C)?
A: The virus has been shown to spread in all types of climates across the United States and globally. A specific climate does not protect you more or less. Similarly, taking a hot shower or bath does not protect from the virus; your body temperature remains the same and extremely hot water can be harmful by causing burns. To protect yourself, follow CDC guidelines by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, avoiding contact with your face, and practicing social distancing.

Q: If I can hold my breath for 10 seconds or longer, does this confirm I do not have coronavirus?
A: Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, these symptoms are not present in all cases. You cannot confirm the presence of the virus through a breathing test, regardless of how it is administered. The best way to confirm if you have the virus is through laboratory testing. If you are exhibiting symptoms, please contact your healthcare professional.

Q: Are there any specific medicines or vaccinations that will help prevent or treat the virus?
A: Currently, there are no medicines recommended to prevent or treat the virus. However, those infected should receive appropriate care as administered by their healthcare providers. Researchers across the United States and globally are working towards developing a vaccine. Some specific treatments have shown initial results and have started clinical trials. For more details on the search for a vaccine, click here.

Q: Can eating certain foods, such as garlic, help prevent infection with coronavirus?
A: Garlic is a healthy food that has some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no current evidence to suggest eating garlic protects people from the virus. Experts including the CDC and WHO recommend following established guidelines proven to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

While there is a lot of COVID-19 information distributed through news outlets and social media, care must be given to the degree of credibility. By following expert sources such as the CDC, WHO, and others, we can stay properly informed and ready to do our part.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.