Common Misconceptions About Coronavirus

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A lot of information to better understand Coronavirus has been disseminated since its outbreak. The details about the virus, how it can infect us, how we can protect ourselves from this, has also evolved overtime as Covid-19 continues to spread around the world. Along with the enhanced knowledge and recommendations on this deadly infection also comes misinformation that has caused confusion and harm to people. According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, this rumors, untruths and disinformation can be just as dangerous as the virus itself. WHO and its partners are  “calling on all countries to put in place national action plans to promote science-based health information and to combat misinformation.”

CNN: Here are some of the common myths and misconceptions floating around, and the state of the science as we understand it to date

Screenshot from CNN

CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares the common misconceptions surrounding Covid-19.

Misconception No. 1: Only older people are impacted by the virus

Dr. Gupta says that the fact is people of all ages have been impacted by the virus. While older people are much more likely to get very sick with Covid-19, or die if they’re infected, younger people are by no means immune.

Misconception No. 2: Masks don’t protect you against coronavirus

Gupta explains that masks became a must after we began to understand two very important facts. The first is that people can spread the virus even if they have no symptoms. And the second is that the virus very likely spreads through the air, in small virus-containing droplets called aerosols, and not only by a person coming into contact with an infected surface or large respiratory droplets.

Misconception No. 3: You can only catch Covid-19 if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has symptoms

It was early evidence that the virus could spread not just through touch or through respiratory droplets (which tend to fall to the ground quickly and not travel far), but through aerosols, which can linger in the air for hours and travel much farther than 6 feet — perhaps 20 or more, especially in places with low air circulation, explains Dr. Gupta.

Misconception No. 4: This is like the flu

It’s true that both Covid-19 and the flu are caused by respiratory viruses and may share some similar symptoms including fever, fatigue and cough. But there are also big differences. While the numbers change depending on location and timeframe, according to the CDC’s most recent best-guess, the likelihood of dying from Covid-19 — the infection fatality ratio– is very low for people under the age of 50. But for people age 50 to 69, it is 0.5%, and for people 70 and older, it jumps up to 5.4%. The overall chances of dying from the flu are about 0.1%.

Misconception No. 5: Everyone can a get a vaccine this winter

According to Fauci and other public health leaders, it is highly unlikely a vaccine will be available by Election Day. And the US Food and Drug Administration is considering new rules for authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine, according to three sources familiar with the situation, and calculations show these rules would push an authorization beyond Election Day.

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