WHO debunks myths on COVID-19 transmission

July 03, 2020

ONE of the habits of Filipinos when sick is to self-medicate, take his neighbor’s “medical advice” or concoct his own “medicine” based on what he read or saw on news.

During this coronavirus pandemic, people feared that COVID-19 can now be anywhere and anyone, including animals and insects are vulnerable of contracting the disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has debunked some of these myths, and here’s what they say about COVID-19 transmission.

* COVID-19 can be transmitted by houseflies. According to WHO, this is impossible. Coronavirus is not transmitted through houseflies.

To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

You can easily be infected when you touch a contaminated surface and then you touch your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands. To protect yourself, keep at least one meter distance from others and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. Clean your hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

* People can be infected through mosquito bites. Many feared that mosquitoes, once they sucked the blood of a COVID patient, can transmit the infected blood from one person to another. The COVID-19 virus cannot be spread through mosquito bites, WHO said.

They said, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

* Beliefs that pepper in soup prevent, cure COVID-19. Like drinking liquor or alcoholic drinks, some people think that by adding pepper to a bowl of soup can cure the virus. WHO said this has no effect at all and does not prevent or cure COVID-19.

Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least one meter away from others and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well.

Remember, the best protection against the virus is to clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Misinformation can only worsen your fears and can lead to paranoia.