The novel coronavirus aka 2019-nCov, which has taken more lives of 362 people and infected more than 17000, was first detected in late December last year. The deadly virus which originated in China is spreading fast. For the unversed, the virus has reached nearly 30 countries, including India. and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus epidemic as an international concern. Many nations including India are taking measures to combat the spread of the relatively unknown viruses by screening people at airports and by keeping people under observation who are traveling back from China. Along with several reports on the same, there are also many myths floating across the internet. One of the biggest myths is that coronavirus is new. The fact is that the strain of the virus which is named as 2019-nCoV is new. Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s.
To tackle and curb the spread of misinformation, today we have compiled a list of fake information that is circulating on the internet.
1. Myth: There is a cure for the same.
It is important to note that there is no vaccine or medicine available for the illness. WHO, in a statement said, "To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)." The statement also read, "No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus."
"The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts. Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health."
However, those who are infected with the same are getting supportive care to alleviate the symptoms. The treatment is a lot similar to that of flu. Also, older people are more susceptible to coronavirus than youngsters. So popping antibiotics won't help as they work on bacteria and not on viruses.
2. Myth: Pets can spread coronavirus
There are no proofs available on whether pets such as dogs and cats can be infected with the new virus and they can spread the same to humans. However, one should ideally wash hands with soap and water after having contact with pets to stay clear from common bacteria
3. Myth: People should stop eating meat
Even though strong reports have suggested that it originated from the wet markets of China, however, it is not right to link the same with eating meat. As per health officials, the virus generally spread with respiratory droplets which are generated when one coughs or sneezes.
4. Myth: One can get coronavirus if I received packages and products from China
This is one of the biggest myths that need to be dispelled as the chances of survival of corona are very poor so there are very low chances of spread of it from packages or products.
5. Myth: Snakes and bats are responsible for the origin
There are no exact reports that claim which species is responsible for the novel coronavirus. As per a study published in the Journal of Medical Virology on January 22, it suggested that 2019-nCoV may have come from snakes, however, it was refuted. Recently some researchers are suspecting that Chinese horseshoe bat is responsible, however, it is too early to say that they are solely the real culprits.