10 Myths About COVID-19 – Medical Bag

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As infections with extreme acute
respiratory misery syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proceed to extend,
there was a concurrent enhance in information and knowledge, each correct and
inaccurate. Subsequently, we now have undertaken a overview of a substantial quantity of
this data, and tried to make clear among the most recurrent misconceptions. 

For instance, “coronavirus” shouldn’t be the suitable identifier for the reason for the present an infection inflicting epidemics in >40 nations. Coronavirus is the title of a household of viruses, which trigger infections in people and animals.1,2 The present outbreak is attributable to a pressure of coronavirus that has been named SARS-Cov-2; the constellation of respiratory signs attributable to this virus is named Coronavirus Illness 2019 (COVID-19).3

1. COVID-19 is a pandemic.

Though the World Well being Group (WHO) has prevented deeming the virus a pandemic, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned, “This virus has pandemic potential. This isn’t a time for concern. It is a time for taking motion to stop an infection and save lives now.” A pandemic is described as an epidemic that has progressed to a worldwide scale. The time period epidemic is utilized for the case of an an infection that spreads extra quickly than anticipated, over a big geographic space.5

2. You may get COVID-19 from merchandise shipped from China.

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has not discovered any proof to counsel that animals or animal merchandise imported from China pose a danger for spreading COVID-19 in the US.6 Whereas it might be attainable that an individual can get COVID-19 by touching a floor or object that has the viral particles on it after which touching their very own mouth, nostril, or eyes, there was no proof to help this as the principle means the virus spreads. The truth is, one research reported that whereas the virus might reside on surfaces for as much as 9 days, “Knowledge on the transmissibility of coronaviruses from contaminated surfaces to palms weren’t discovered. Nevertheless, it could possibly be proven with influenza A virus {that a} contact of 5 [seconds] can switch 31.6% of the viral load to the palms.”7

3. Any cough-based sickness is COVID-19.

You will need to do not forget that within the
United States, it’s nonetheless flu season, and though it might be wrapping up, it
can final by means of Might.8 Additional, there are a number of households of
viruses that trigger respiratory signs; these viruses (eg, rhinoviruses,
adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza viruses)
are the reason for the frequent chilly, and flow into year-round.9,10 

When is a cough regarding? In case you really feel sick with cough, fever and issue respiration, and have been in shut contact with an individual identified to have COVID-19, or when you reside in or have not too long ago traveled from an space with ongoing unfold of COVID-19.6

4. Neighborhood unfold means anybody, wherever can get the an infection at any time.

The time period neighborhood unfold is used to explain a state of affairs whereby the precise supply of an an infection can’t be recognized.11 This generally happens within the setting of an epidemic: as soon as the instances of an an infection attain a sure level, an individual might turn into contaminated with out typical danger elements resembling journey to an endemic space, or an individual has close-contact with a sick particular person. On this state of affairs, one might not know when or the place they encountered an contaminated particular person. This particular person may additionally not but know they’re sick, as they might nonetheless be in an incubation or asymptomatic stage of the sickness. Nevertheless, contact continues to be a requisite for transmission, knowingly or unknowingly. Neighborhood unfold of infections may be ameliorated by means of the apply of hand hygiene, and staying dwelling once you really feel unwell.6,12 

5. Everybody who will get contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 will die or conversely, solely aged, sick individuals will die. 

Though the vast majority of instances that lead to dying are among the many aged, and people with persistent well being situations, COVID-19 has affected largely all age teams, in addition to individuals with no underlying ailments. There have been no deaths reported amongst kids aged <9 years, who symbolize only one% of all instances of an infection.13 People aged 10 to 19 years exhibit the same incidence, and people aged 20 to 29 years account for roughly 8% of instances.14 Folks aged 30 to 79 years, nonetheless, account for 87% of instances.13

The fatality charge for COVID-19 can be skewed towards the aged: individuals aged 70 to 79 years have a fatality charge of 8%, in contrast with 14.8% amongst these aged >80 years.13 Folks with any underlying comorbidity have a better fatality charge.14 As well as, experiences point out extra individuals of the male intercourse have been contaminated; they’ve additionally extra typically introduced with extra extreme an infection, and have had larger dying charges.14 

6. COVID-19 is extra transmissible/deadlier than the flu.

That is tough. Such statements can appear
true if one is simply taking a look at sure items of information; however knowledge wants context.
For instance, the case fatality charge is incessantly reported as being larger than
that of the flu; nonetheless, it has already been demonstrated that fatality charges
differ considerably throughout affected person populations. Furthermore, evaluating a charge of
one an infection to a different when the elements that affect that charge (variety of people
contaminated and variety of fatalities) are so considerably completely different is
cumbersome. Seasonal influenza has a fatality charge of <1%,15
in contrast with the roughly 2% fatality charge presently reported for SARS-CoV-2.
Nevertheless, any subgroup analyses (eg, people who’ve died) of the roughly 35
million annual instances of the flu will, most of the time, mathematically discover
a smaller quantity in contrast with an evaluation of the roughly 114,000 instances of

Nevertheless, present knowledge on the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 are extra dependable in that calculations definitively take note of extra variables.17 These knowledge exhibit that this an infection is barely extra transmissible than the flu; preventive measures, nonetheless, are the identical. For that reason, all main well being organizations, authorities officers, and even mass transit methods stress the significance of washing your palms incessantly, coughing/sneezing into the criminal of your elbow, and staying dwelling when sick.6,12

7. Facial masks will preserve you from getting sick.

Using facial masks as a safety measure for COVID-19 shouldn’t be presently really helpful for most people.18 Healthcare staff who’ve direct contact with identified instances of SARS-CoV-2 are really helpful to make use of an N95 respirator masks, along with applicable gowning and gloving strategies, and solely within the hospital/clinic setting.18,19 The N95 filtering facepiece respirator capabilities by eradicating particles from the air as the person breathes by means of the masks.19 Not like these, different facemasks are solely efficient at stopping one from inhaling giant respiratory droplets. Using a non-N95 facemask is efficient in stopping an individual who’s feeling unwell, or has a cough/sneeze-based sickness from spreading an ongoing an infection.

8. You shouldn’t journey internationally, in any respect.

The CDC points journey suggestions for a number of infectious ailments, together with COVID-19.20 A Warning Degree 3 signifies avoidance of all nonessential journey to a given location. An Alert Degree 2 advises that individuals with persistent medical situations and older adults ought to keep away from journey to such places. Watch Degree 1 signifies that the CDC doesn’t suggest cancelling journey to such locations. As a result of circulation and air filtration system on airplanes, the danger for an infection transmission is low; the CDC does, nonetheless, suggest conscientious hand hygiene on this case.

Cruise ships put giant numbers of individuals, doubtlessly from numerous nations around the globe, in frequent and shut contact with one another; due to this fact the CDC strongly recommends frequent hand washing and avoidance of touching your face, and staying in your cabin and notifying the onboard medical heart instantly when you really feel unwell. 

9. Flu or pneumonia vaccines will even assist forestall COVID.

There are inadequate knowledge to help the advocacy of the influenza or pneumococcal vaccines to stop COVID-19.21 Whereas these 2 diseases have comparable symptomology to COVID-19, the vaccines are formulated to be lively particularly in opposition to the influenza virus and streptococcal micro organism, neither of which contribute to COVID-19. Nevertheless, it’s extremely really helpful that everybody who’s indicated to obtain both vaccine does so as a result of it might support in simplifying the analysis of potential SARS-CoV-2 infections.21,22 

10. Warmth will kill the virus.

Though just a few high-ranking authorities
officers have alluded to the likelihood that prime temperatures will kill the
virus, there may be not presently sufficient proof to state this with scientific
certainty. Whereas the speed of most viral infections decreases throughout the summer time
months on account of larger temperatures and humidity, there are 2 necessary
caveats: individuals are much less more likely to be in shut quarters with one another for
prolonged intervals, and though nations within the northern hemisphere are coming into
hotter months, the alternative is true for nations within the  southern hemisphere.23 Additional,
earlier expertise with and analysis on the opposite Coronavirus epidemics (SARS and
MERS) demonstrated that this household of viruses might have little drawback
surviving in hotter climates.23


  1. Peiris JSM. Coronaviruses. In: Greenwood D, Barer M, Slack R, Irving W, eds. Medical Microbiology: A Information to Microbial Infections. 18th ed. Elsevier; 2012:587-593.
  2. Fehr AR, Perlman S. Coronaviruses: an summary of their replication and pathogenesis. Strategies Mol Biol. 2015;1282:1-23.
  3. The World Well being Group. Naming the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it. Up to date February 11, 2020. Acessed March 6, 2020. https://www.who.int/emergencies/ailments/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen
  4. Nebehay S, Shields M. “Deadly mistake” for nations to imagine they received’t get coronavirus -WHO chief. Reuters. Printed February 27, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020.
  5. Grennan D. What’s a pandemic? [published online March 5, 2019]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0700
  6. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. How COVID-19 spreads. Up to date March 4, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
  7. Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistance of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal brokers [published online February 6, 2020]. J Hosp Infect. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022
  8. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The flu season. Up to date July 12, 2018. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm
  9. Nationwide Institutes of Well being. Understanding a standard chilly virus. Up to date April 13, 2019. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/understanding-common-cold-virus
  10.  Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Frequent colds: defend your self and others. Up to date February 11, 2019. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/options/rhinoviruses/index.html
  11. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. CDC confirms attainable occasion of neighborhood unfold of COVID-19 in U.S. Up to date February 26, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0226-Covid-19-spread.html
  12. Canadian Centre for Occupational Well being and Security. Good hygiene practices-reducing the unfold of infections and viruses. Up to date March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ailments/good_hygiene.html
  13. Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Traits of and necessary classes from the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China [published online February 24, 2020]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2648
  14. Guan W, Ni Z, Hu Y, et al. Scientific chartacteristics of coronavirus illness 2019 in China [published online February 28, 2020].  N Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2002032
  15.  Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Illness burden of influenza. Up to date January 10, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
  16. Johns Hopkins. Coronavirus COVID-19 international instances. Up to date March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
  17. Swerdlow DL, Finelli L. Preparation for attainable sustained transmission of 2019 Novel Coronavirus: classes from earlier epidemics [published online February 11, 2020]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1960
  18. The World Well being Group. Coronavirus illness (COVID-19) recommendation for the general public: when and the way to use masks. Up to date March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.who.int/emergencies/ailments/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
  19. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Often requested questions on private protecting equiptment. Up to date February 29, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html
  20. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Journey: incessantly requested questions and solutions. Up to date March 3, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vacationers/faqs.html
  21. Yale Medication. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Illness 2019). Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.yalemedicine.org/situations/covid-19/
  22. College of Chicago Medication. COVID-19: what we all know thus far in regards to the 2019 novel coronavirus. Printed on February 13, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/prevention-and-screening-articles/wuhan-coronavirus
  23. Le Web page M. Will warmth kill the coronavirus?. New Scientist. 2020;245(3270):6-7.

This text initially appeared on Infectious Illness Advisor

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