Friday | 20 March | 2020
By Reon Janse van Rensburg
Covid-19 (coronavirus) has instilled fear in people around the globe. This fear is mainly based on misperceptions and fake news. In a time of crisis, it is extremely important that people have access to correct and reliable information to inform them and to prevent unnecessary panic.
What are the myths around Covid-19?
- Will a vaccine against pneumonia protect you from the new Covid-19 virus?
No, no vaccines against pneumonia such as the Pneumococcal vaccine and the Haemophilus type B (Hib) flu vaccine will offer any protection against the new Covid-19 virus.
This virus is so new that it needs its own vaccine. Currently, researchers are trying to develop a new vaccine against the Covid-19 virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) supports all their efforts. Even if all the vaccines against pneumonia and flu cannot prevent you from being infected by Covid-19, they are still recommended for your general health.
- Does the application of sesame oil help to prevent the virus from entering your body?
No, sesame oil does not kill Covid-19.
However, there are a few disinfectant aids that can kill Covid-19 on surfaces. This includes bleach aids, chlorine-based disinfectants, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform. Some of these aids can be dangerous to your skin and should rather be used on surfaces.
- Will it help to gargle with mouthwash and to protect yourself in this way against Covid-19?
No, there is no proof that you will be protected against Covid-19 by gargling with mouthwash.
Some mouthwash brands can eliminate some microbes in your saliva for a few minutes, however that does not imply that it will kill the Covid-19 virus.
- Can pets at home spread the Covid-19 virus?
There are currently no proof that household pets such as cats and dog can be infected or spread the virus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands if you were in contact with a pet.
- Will it help to eat garlic to prevent the Covid-19 virus?
Garlic is a healthy herb that contains anti-microbial qualities however, there is no proof that garlic will prevent people from being infected by Covid-19.
- Is there any specific new medication that can treat or prevent the Covid-19 virus?
Currently, there is not medication that can treat or help to prevent infection. People that are infected must approach medical help to treat and relieve symptoms and those with serious illnesses must receive optimised supportive care.
- Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the Covid-19 virus?
No, antibiotics does not work against viruses but only against bacteria. A hospitalised infected person may receive antibiotics because bacterial infection is possible.
- Does the new Covid-19 virus only affect older people or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages are affected by the Covid-19 virus.
Older people and people with existing medical conditions such as heart illnesses, asthma and diabetes seem to be more vulnerable to get sicker from the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends people from all ages to take steps to protect themselves against the virus by applying good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
What are the best methods to prevent yourself from being infected by Covid-19?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) it is good to do the following:
Wash your hands often. Clean your hands often with an alcohol based sanitising aid or wash it thoroughly with soap and water.
Maintain social distance
Keep a distance of at least one meter between every person that coughs or sneezes. It is even better to remain home and to distance yourself from other people in this way.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth
Your hands touch many surfaces that can pick up viruses. Without you even realising it you can touch your face and in such a way allow the illness to enter your body.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.