5 Coronavirus Myths Debunked By Expert

The number of people diagnosed with the 2019-nCoV in U.S. has reached 13, the CDC revealed on Monday. No deaths have been reported in the United States so far, but the situation in China is far worse since its the death toll has exceeded 1,000. 

While the government has taken several steps to control the spread of the virus, social media platforms are struggling to regulate the dissemination of medication misinformation.Viral lies are spreading worldwide and hoaxes are being hailed as cures. On Facebook, anti-vaccine advocate groups are sharing the information regardless of the truth, while the company claims to be actively removing false claims. 

“Our global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their work reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading related to the coronavirus. When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners,” Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook's head of health, said in a blog post. “We also send notifications to people who already shared or are trying to share this content to alert them that it’s been fact-checked.”

Mindbodygreen spoke to Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. He works on emerging infectious diseases and tools to be prepared in a potential pandemic. Here are five myths about coronavirus that he debunked:

Coronavirus is worse than the flu

Right now, the CDC is focusing on diagnosing patients with lower respiratory problems and coughs. The agency is currently not looking at symptoms as small as a running nose, but Adalja said they should in order to show how widespread and mild the virus really is. 

Packages from China contain the virus

There’s a time lapse between a package’s posting and its arrival, which kills the virus on the erratic journey. Generally, the survival of the virus depends upon the temperature, humidity and ultraviolet radiation. 

Household pets can transmit the virus

Going by history, coronaviruses can infect pigs, cows and bats. However, there is no information to suggest that domesticated household pets can carry coronaviruses, but it is certainly possible, as per Adalja. 

Avoid public places

Americans are more likely to be infected with the influenza rather than the coronavirus especially since the people who traveled from China were quarantined. Not just that, the WHO said that 82 percent of the novel coronavirus cases are mild, hence there is no need to avoid public places. 

Coronavirus does infect children

Children can be infected but their symptoms are mild and they are more likely to recover. "The predisposition for severe disease is greater in older adults or those with other medical conditions, so that could be why children are less represented,” Adalja said. 

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons