The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has risen to 202, with a recorded 17 deaths as of Wednesday, March 18, according to the Department of Health. As more and more patients are diagnosed by the hour, a sense of rising panic and dread seems to be an inextricable part of our current day to day. And while feeling scared or anxious in these trying times is completely okay and normal, one may have the tendency to believe (and act upon) every piece of “information” that they find on social media.
It’s pertinent to remind yourself that not everything you read on your feed is true, no matter how many retweets or shares it’s gotten, especially if it was posted by a random Twitter user with zero credibility. That said, to help with dispelling a few of these viral false truths, clinician and physician, Dr. Faheem Younus, MD, Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Infectious Diseases at University of Maryland UCH, took to his own Twitter account to “clear the record.”
Read up on some of the most common myths he's debunked, below:
Myth #1. The Coronavirus will go away in the summer months.
Fact: “Previous pandemics didn’t follow weather patterns. Plus as we enter summer, there will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere. [The] virus is global.”
Myth #2. Come summertime, the virus will spread more through mosquito bites.
Fact: "This infection is spread via respiratory droplets, not blood. Mosquitos don’t increase spread.”
Myth #3. If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without discomfort, you don’t have COVID-19.
Fact: "Most young patients with Coronavirus will be able to hold their breaths for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderly without the virus won’t be able to do it.”
Myth #4. Since COVID-19 testing is unavailable, we should donate blood. The blood bank will test for it.
Fact: "No blood bank is testing for Coronavirus so this attempt will fail. Blood donation is a sacred exercise; let’s make sure we are motivated by the right reasons."
Myth #5. Coronavirus lives in the throat. So drink lots of water so the virus is pushed into the stomach where the acid will kill it.
Fact: “Virus may gain entry via throat but it penetrates into the host cells. You can’t wash it away. Excessive water will make you run to the toilet.”
Myth #6. Hand sanitizers are better than soap and water.
Fact: “Soap and water actually kills and washes away the virus from skin (it can not penetrate our skin cells) plus it also cleans visible soiling of hands.”
Myth #7. One of the best strategies to prevent COVID-19 is to clean every door knob in your home with disinfectants.
Fact: “Hand washing and maintaining a [six-feet] distance is the best practice. Unless you’re caring for a COVID-19 patient at home, your home surfaces should not be a big risk.”
As of writing, seven cases in the Philippines have recovered from Coronavirus. According to DOH spokesperson Maria Vergeir in a report by CNN Philippines, those who were discharged from hospitals "exhibited mild symptoms and did not have underlying medical conditions."
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