COVID-19 information can be overwhelming – and unfortunately misinformation is common. An infectious disease expert helps separate fact from fiction.
March 30, 2020
Have you heard that eating garlic prevents COVID-19 infection?
Or, that taking a hot bath will protect someone from the novel coronavirus?
These are myths – and they’re running rampant.
COVID-19 information can be overwhelming – and unfortunately misinformation is common.
Frank Esper, M.D., an infectious disease expert at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, said it’s a myth that hand dryers can kill the novel coronavirus.
“People are thinking hot air kills this virus and using blow dryers, or somehow increasing the room temperature will help prevent the spread – that will not happen,” he said. “That type of heat is not necessarily going to cause a change in the infectiousness of this particular virus.”
And don’t think hot, humid climates are protective. Evidence, to date, shows COVID-19 can be transmitted in all areas.
Some people believe mosquitoes can spread the virus, but that’s not the case, according to Dr. Esper.
“Mosquitoes can transmit disease, only by sucking your blood and transferring that blood into someone else,” said Dr. Esper. “So, things like West Nile Virus that’s how it works; things like malaria, that’s how it works. But this virus doesn’t stay in your blood very long.”
Another myth is that ibuprofen can make COVID-19 infection worse.
“We have not seen this in any other study,” Dr. Esper said. “We have not seen this in any of our experience here in the United States”
If you’ve heard only older people are at risk, guess again.
“Younger adults can get infected and can get severe infection, although not nearly as often as an older adults,” said Dr. Esper. “It is something that we are really recognizing that young adults 20s, 30s and 40s should still be very vigilant to make sure that they don’t get this virus.”
Dr. Esper said the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection is by frequently washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and distancing yourself from others.
Cleveland Clinic News Service