The fake news circulating about the coronavirus can be likened to yet another outbreak that humanity has to confront. So bad is the spread if fake news during this period that WHO termed it as an infodemic.
I have watched and listened to several clips and texts shared on social media.
I have seen fake alerts and posts circulating on social media, often claiming to be from the WHO or a national health ministry. Some include bogus suggestions that garlic, sesame oil and vitamin C can kill this particular strand of coronavirus.
Antibiotics kill coronavirus
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. What is evident about viruses and bacteria is that they have different survival mechanisms. They replicate differently. Treating either infection takes a different approach.
However, if you are hospitalized with COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
Strong black tea.
I listened to a 2-minute voice clip, that was recorded in Mombasa weeks after the first case was confirmed. It explained how strong black tea cures the disease. It also urged Kenyans to take ‘turungi’ religiously to prevent infection.
My friend, take your ‘turungi’ because you like the taste. Take it as you have always done. But do not take it because you have heard that it cures COVID 19. IT DOESNT! And something else to remember, too much of everything is dangerous. Who wants to be doing those numerous rounds in the washroom just because you have overfed on strong tea?
If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you don’t have it
This is a false claim by any measure. Let me try and explain in simple terms. The coronavirus can indeed cause fibrosis, but holding your breath to test whether you have coronavirus is not scientific.
This theory basically assumes that if you have lung damage then you cannot hold your breath for 10 sec.
If you have the symptoms, a doctor will need to carry out various tests.
Coronavirus lives in the throat so taking a lot of water will push the virus into the stomach where acids will kill it
No, you cannot wash away the virus.
All social distancing is an overreaction. The virus won’t cause much damage
Social distancing is recommended as a tool of intervention to minimize the viral impact of the disease. If you think this is not important, you only need to look at the countries that did not take coronavirus spread seriously. Italy is one of them.
Its leaders first dismissed the virus as ‘just another flu’. It remains one of the worst-hit countries in the world. It has some lessons for you and me just in case.
If you do not remember anything else, remember this…Researchers say the virus is spread from one person to another by droplets discharged by sneezing or coughing of an infected person.
When you keep your distance, it means you minimise close contact with people who may be infected. When you keep your distance, you save yourself and others.
Hand sanitizers are better than soap and water
Soap and water actually kill and washes away the virus from the skin. It also cleans visible soiling. Hand sanitizer is handy when you do not have access to soap and water.
See how this virus is simple to fight? You just need to follow the rules.
The virus will die off when temperatures rise
Since you come from the tropics, you have been told this lie that temperatures will help you fight this virus.
Some viruses, such as cold and flu viruses, do spread more easily in the colder months, but that does not mean they stop entirely when conditions become milder.
As it stands, scientists do not know how temperature changes will influence the behaviour of Covid-19. So stop busking in the sun.
The virus is fatal
While the official statements estimate the death rate to be around three to four per cent globally, people who get the virus will typically get sick with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to that of a cold.
Most of it will just go away on its own. It can be fatal in rare cases, such as when an individual has a weakened immune system. Older people are at a higher risk as well. That’s not to say it spares young people.
You have to be with someone for 10 minutes to catch the virus
Well, I am yet to understand the logic behind this argument. The black and white it is still possible to catch it in less than 10 minutes.
Alcohol Fights The Virus
It is governor Sonko who popularised this one. He was on twitter saying that his team is packaging alcohol, Hennesy so that people can use it as hand sanitizer.
“We are giving some small bottles of Hennesy in the package which we give to our people. I think from the research which has been conducted by the world health organization (WHO) and various health organizations, It has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus.” Sonko said.
I know it excited you perhaps? Let’s be frank. Would you use Hennesy as a hand-sanitizer? That’s your battle to fight. What I know is that Hennesy has issued a statement saying, “Hennessy would like to stress that the consumption of our brand or any other alcoholic beverage does not protect against the virus,”.
Wash your hands with soap and water
Use a hand-sanitiser if you do not have access to soap and water
Use your hand-sleeve when coughing
Social distancing helps in halting the spread of the virus. Keep your distance please.
We are all now required to wear masks when in public. Keep your end of the bargain.