Common FAQs and Myths About Coronavirus

The rapid spreading of information – wheater it is correct or incorrect, had always been an issue ever since the early days of the internet. However, this problem of wrong information getting viral around the world has skyrocketed ever since the rise of social media platforms.
The same is the case for the information about the new Coronavirus. Particularly, since there has yet been no official cure found for the deadly disease and the virus creating havoc around the world, random information about its transmission and cure has been surfaced all over the world.

The director-general of the WHO – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted,

“It’s time for facts, not fear.”

“We appreciate Google, Facebook, TencentGlobal, TikTok and Twitter’s efforts to combat misinformation and rumors on 2019nCoV & direct users to reliable sources.”


List of Common Myths and Basic FAQs about Coronavirus

The new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) being so deadly, it is of importance to stay updated and informed about it. That would help us be safe and protected from being infected or timely cured of the life-threatening virus.

1. Will having Antibiotics help to cure or prevent coronavirus?

  • No

It’s important to remember there is no treatment or medicine for the illness. Ensuing, as antibiotics do not work against viruses, taking antibiotics won’t help in the case of coronavirus since it is a virus, and not bacterial.

However, don’t be alarmed if antibiotics have been prescribed for coronavirus patients, this could be to treat for the possible case of bacterial co-infection.


2. Does the new coronavirus only affect older people?

  • No

Even younger people are susceptible to 2019-nCoV, the new coronavirus will not only affect the older people.

At the same time, it is important to know that people with pre-existing medical conditions – such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease – appear to be more vulnerable to falling severely ill with the coronavirus. As older people usually have such medical history and have low immunity, they are at a higher risk of being badly infected with the new coronavirus.

3. Can a package or item from China transfer Coronavirus?

  • No

A package or item from China doesn’t transfer Coronavirus. It is safe to receive items from China as coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

People who have received packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. Viruses have limited ability to survive outside of the human body and often perish in less than 24 hours.

4. Is coronavirus transferable from pet dogs and cats?

  • No

Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific coronavirus is believed not to be a threat to pets.

The 2019-nCoV may have come from animals, but your pets are not likely to be part of the equation. The World Health Organization reported that there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in domestic animals.

5. Does eating Garlic, Onions and Holy Basil help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

  • No

Garlic cloves boiled in water – the homebrew is being touted on various social media platforms as something that can cure the virulent virus responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people in China. As per WHO,

“Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.”

India’s government suggested a traditional concoction that includes ginger and holy basil as virus protection. While in Myanmar, a Facebook user wrote a widely-read tribute to onions as a way to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, which the chief minister of Tanintharyi Division, U Myint Mg, shared on his Facebook page. “The Chinese government has announced that people should consume and have on hand as many onions as they can,” the post read, with no supporting scientific evidence.

While some people are looking for a cure, Dr. Rebecca Fischer of Texas A&M School of Public Health’s Epidemiology & Biostatistics department, told Al Arabiya English: “There are no known effective uses of any agents right now against coronavirus and this would include naturopathy or homeopathy remedies as well as clinical medicine agents.”

6. Is it definite that coronavirus will kill everybody infected with it?

  • No

Coronavirus is a life-threatening disease that has killed over 490 people (as of now) already. However, it does not guarantee to kill the patient. Only 2% of thousands infected have died where most were old people with low immunity.

7. Can vaccines for curing pneumonia help to protect from coronavirus?

  • No

The vaccines used for the protection of pneumonia are commonly pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine. There has been no evidence that vaccines against pneumonia provide protection against the new coronavirus.

In fact, the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Scientists and researchers all over the world are trying to develop a medicine/vaccine against 2019-nCoV.

8. Does rinsing the nose with saline help to protect from coronavirus?

  • No

There has been no evidence that rinsing the nose with saline help to protect from the new coronavirus.

9. Does gargling with mouthwash help to protect you from coronavirus?

  • No

There has been no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.

10. Does applying sesame oil stop coronavirus to enter the body?

  • No

Sesame oil does not kill or block the new coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid, and chloroform.

However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin.

11. Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

  • No

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

In Conclusion

In Malaysia, five people have been arrested for spreading fake news about the virus — one post shared on Facebook, falsely claiming to be from a government department, showed a fake picture of the virus and read in Malay: “This is an image of one of many ‘Allah’s armies’ sent to attack China in the form of coronavirus.”

As the crisis deepens, social media companies and internet giants are taking steps to tackle the misinformation spreading on their platforms. Google has started displaying information from the WHO about the virus in search results, while its video-sharing platform YouTube is promoting videos on it from credible sources.

Coronavirus has killed more than hundreds of people and spread to more than two dozen nations. Thus, it is highly advised to be aware and take simple preventive steps to protect ourselves from the deadly infection of coronavirus.

However, if you find yourself suffering from any symptoms, you should immediately go to your nearest hospital for a check-up. As there have been hundreds of cases where people are cured and marked safe even after its infections.

Source: WHO | WeForum | Aljazeera | GulfNews