There are a few common beliefs that are thought to cure the virus, or to be indication of the signs of the virus within the body, or similar misbeliefs that are endangering the lives and health of people. Many of these are false, yet they are still spread around. Below is a list of a selection of such theories.
While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19.
The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat 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 1 metre 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.
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 also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
To protect yourself, keep at least 1-metre distance from others and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. Clean your hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.
Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.
Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs.
To protect yourself against COVID-19, disinfect objects and surfaces, especially the ones you touch regularly. You can use diluted bleach or alcohol for that. Make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.
You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia.
The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands.
By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.
The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.
Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19.
Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
To date 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.
To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes.
Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water are the most effective ways to remove the virus.
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.
However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
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.
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
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.
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
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.