The new coronavirus, the 2019-nCoV, is novel, deadly and spreads rapidly.
On Monday, at least 362 people died and as many as 17,400 others were declared infected with the virus, which causes fever, cough and shortness of breath. The United States has imposed a mandatory quarantine on citizens and their families returning from Hubei Province in China, where the disease originated last December. There is no cure or vaccine for the virus that scientists suspect is from bats and may have spread to an intermediate host animal before infecting humans. However, some peddle false information about the origin of the virus and how to “cure” it. This is despite the fear around the world of people who are hungry for clear answers to combat the spread of this relatively unknown new virus.
Here are some of the allegations we’ve heard so far, as well as some of the best expert advice on how to stay truly healthy and disease-free.
First of all, it is important to know that there is no treatment or medication for the virus. In addition, taking antibiotics will not help, as it is not a bacterium.
The treatment of Wuhan’s coronavirus is very similar to that of the flu. Patients are advised to rest and hydrate a lot. In the most severe cases, people who have difficulty breathing may need oxygen assistance. So far, older people are more sensitive than young people under the age of 15. Most fatal cases were among the elderly and patients with pre-existing health conditions. There is no vaccine for coronavirus yet.
Although the virus is thought to be sourced from bats, there is no evidence that meat consumption is related to coronavirus. Also, you can’t catch it through your pets.
People can transmit the coronavirus through close contact (viral particles usually spread within a one-metre radius of an infected person), but there is no evidence that cats and dogs can be infected. It is true that scientists suspect the virus to come from a Chinese market. Places where people coexist closely alongside live or dead animals. On the other hand, it is not accurate to say that the virus is linked to meat consumption, as Peta UK has done.
“We get new viruses all the time,” Dr. Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practices at New York Medical College and former chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Business Insider US. “There is so much trade and exchange between people that some of these cases can be expected to spread.”
The virus is very fragile outside the human body, which means you can’t catch it from a package or envelope.
Some people expressed concern that they could contract coronavirus from goods imported and packaged by people from other countries who might be ill. Public health experts point out that the virus can only live for a few hours on hard surfaces and that only close contact can transmit it from person to person. For example, the first case of human-to-human transmission in the United States occurred between a husband and wife living together. Other cases have also been transmitted between patients and doctors in Chinese hospitals.
Coronavirus particles are very heavy and usually fall to the ground rather than linger in the air. This makes the virus much less contagious than some others, such as measles. Epidemiologists studying the new coronavirus have found that a single infected person tends to pass on the disease to one to three other people, much like seasonal flu. So far, children have been quite resistant to this virus, as with SARS. A mother, carrying the new coronavirus, is said to have given birth to a perfectly healthy baby. According to a recent Lancet study, the average age of coronavirus patients was about 55 years.
Do not use a “miracle mineral solution” to fight the virus. It’s industrial bleach, and it’s dangerous and unnecessary.
As Business Insider US journalist Gabby Landsverk has already pointed out, “the ‘miracle mineral solution’, as it is called online (MMS in short), is a solution composed of 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water.” This substance is not a cure for coronavirus, but it is dangerous to human health and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension and acute liver failure. However, some bleach-based cleaning products are useful for cleaning surfaces. The World Health Organization has stated that “bleach or chlorine-based disinfectants, ether-based solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform” are all excellent ways to kill 2019-nCoV on surfaces.
But these chemicals are dangerous when people put them on their skin, under their nose or in their mouths. Used in this way, they then have “little or no impact on the virus,” the WHO said.
Similarly, algae are not a treatment for the new coronavirus.
There is evidence that red seaweed can render certain viruses inactive, such as those that cause cold sores (herpes). But this has not been demonstrated with regard to the new coronavirus.”The problem is that there are some 4,000 species of these algae, some of which can act against viral infections but not against others,” wrote the “Office for the Science and Society” at McGill University. “Without any proper labelling regulations and without any content verification requirements, it’s a poker move.” Nevertheless, at least one “holistic” healer, Gabriel Cousins, told his followers in a recent email that they should use red algae to prevent and possibly treat coronavirus, even though no scientist has ever studied the effect red algae on this virus.”I can’t say how effective red algae are against coronavirus,” he said.
Eating garlic or sesame oil won’t do you much good either.
It is true that garlic contains organosulfur compounds that can help keep our heart, head and intestines functioning properly, and can even help prevent or fight cancer. The WHO has also stated that garlic “may have certain antimicrobial properties,” but there is no reason to believe it can ward off coronavirus. And sesame oil (applied locally or ingested) won’t kill it either.
Rinsing your nose with a saline solution or doing mouthwashes and gargles will not prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Yes, some mouthwash techniques can kill germs in the mouth. Similarly, rinsing your nostrils can be very pleasant if you have a stuffy nose. But neither method will prevent the spread of coronaviruses.
Often, and with water and soap. “If I could teach the public one thing that would prevent most of the diseases I face, it would be to wash their hands and teach your children how to wash their hands,” Dr. Sherlita Amler said Friday, Assistant Professor of Public Health at New York Medical College and Westchester County Health Commissioner. “Believe it or not, most people don’t really have an idea about how they should wash their hands, and in fact, I think some people try to do it without getting their hands wet.” Dr. Sherlita Amler stresses the importance of using soap. In particular, she explains that “it is the frictional movement of your hands that causes the bacteria to detach from your hands.” Hand sanitizer is useful for rigor, but nothing beats soap and water followed by drying with a paper towel.
Getting the flu shot (if you haven’t already) is also a great way to protect yourself from viral diseases this season.
According to Dr. Sherlita Amler, this is a great way to help you stay calm during this epidemic. “It is much less likely that you have the flu, which means that you are less likely to have respiratory symptoms, and this also means that you will be less likely to feel anxious by saying to yourself’, ‘Oh my God, will you I have this new disease that everyone is talking about?’. Probably not. You’ve certainly had the flu.”
Stay away from sick people and don’t go to work or school if you’re sick.
“If you are sick, your family members are sick, stay at home, do not spread these diseases,” advises the doctor. “Basically, that’s what they did in China, they isolated everyone.”
And don’t forget that masks aren’t really useful unless you put them on people who are already sick and coughing.
According to Dr. Sherlita Amler, the reason people are currently tearing off face masks around the world are more psychological than prevention.”I think the problem is that they don’t know what else to do”, she argues, about people wearing masks. They’re just trying to do everything they can to avoid getting sick. Her husband, Dr. Amler (also), agrees. “The surgical-type paper masks you see in the operating rooms… are designed to prevent your own cough and feces from reaching other people,” he said. “They’re not really meant to protect the wearer, they’re designed to protect the people around you.”