10 myths about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

1. Can you get infected by drinking Corona beer?

There is a very disturbing notion amongst people that the coronavirus (2019nCoV) has something to do with Corona beer. No. The virus has nothing to do with beer. The recent epidemic is caused by a type of coronavirus (a family of viruses) called novel coronavirus (known as 2019nCoV by scientists). It is speculated that the virus originated from animals, and mutated to become transmissible from human-to-human.

2. Can surgical masks prevent the virus from spreading?

If you live in a country with any confirmed cases, you probably see people around you wearing surgical masks, or you might be wearing one yourself. However, surgical masks do not have a perfect airtight seal from the outside. Most surgical masks do not have air filters as well. Though a mask will reduce the chance of catching the virus, there is still a good chance. It is better to wash your hands regularly.

Read Also: Coronavirus: Precautionary tips, symptoms, and more

3. Do airport temperature screenings prevent the spread of the virus?

This depends on when you check your temperature. The virus has an incubation period of 10-14 days, meaning, you won’t display any symptoms of carrying the virus for 10-14 days after you get infected. The most dangerous fact is that the virus is transmissible during this time, so you could be spreading it without even knowing you have it. So an infected person could walk right through the airport without any symptoms to show.

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4. Will traditional medicine cure me?

The coronavirus mostly causes pneumonia. Traditional cough and cold medicine will not help eliminate the virus. You should actually be in a hospital, isolated if you are confirmed to be a carrier. This is especially important as the virus is easily transmissible.

5. Is it safe to eat meat or seafood?

It was initially speculated by two studies that the outbreak started from bats. Bats are natural incubators for coronaviruses. However, China’s National Health Commission said that samples collected from the Huanan seafood market testes positive for the novel coronavirus. It is better to avoid meat/seafood from unhealthy sources. Make sure that meat is well-cooked before eating it. The Chinese government already implemented a wildlife trade ban.

6. If I have a temperature or a cold, do I probably have the virus?

You need to look for signs of breathing trouble, as coronavirus causes pneumonia. Normal cough, cold doesn’t mean you necessarily carry the virus. The virus is also known to cause a wide range of symptoms, including diarrhea. However, do visit the hospital for a check, but it isn’t urgent. If you live in a country other than China, there is a very small chance that you carry the virus. Most countries have confirmed cases that are less than 10, so you are probably good.

7. Is there a vaccine/cure?

The novel coronavirus causes a wide range of symptoms, including kidney failure, diarrhea, and pneumonia. As of now, there is no confirmed cure to combat the virus before the symptoms kick in. Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a vaccine for the virus, but it may take until 2021 until a coronavirus vaccine is mass-produced. This is because of the lengthy procedure involved in developing a vaccine.

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8. If I am confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus, will I die?

Until now, all coronavirus deaths have only occurred in China. Statistically, infected individuals in other countries do not have to worry about death. However, things may change as the virus spreads. Coronavirus causes pneumonia. Around 10% of people infected by the SARS coronavirus between 2002-2003 had died. As of now, around 2% of people infected by the novel coronavirus (the current outbreak) have died because of it. Most of those people were in the age group 40-60. So the chances are very low, especially if you are outside of China.

Read Also: Coronavirus: Precautionary tips, symptoms, and more

9. Can I get the virus if I touch an infected person?

The virus spreads through “close contact.” Very light and accidental touching will not cause the spread of the virus. However, droplets from cough and exhale can easily cause the spread of the virus. Maintain some distance from people that are sick/coughing, especially those that traveled recently.

10. Do I have to keep my throat moist and avoid eye contact?

There are fake messages spreading around that you have to do things like keep your throat moist, wear surgical masks 24/7, etc., in order to keep yourself from catching the virus. The virus only moves from close person-to-person contact. Things like keeping your throat moist will not help. Wearing surgical masks helps but doesn’t eliminate the chance of catching the virus. Most importantly, looking at someone who is sick will not transmit the virus via eye contact. The virus may transmit with the sharing of teardrops, but not by just looking at someone. Close contact is required.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus on our dedicated coronavirus page.

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