Myth Busting COVID-19Posted: September 22, 2020
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, emerged fast and furious around the globe, and researchers everywhere have been rapidly investigating to better understand the disease, its causes and treatment options. But with this comes a constant influx of information, hypotheses and conjecture that can make it difficult to distinguish myth from fact.
Infectious Disease Specialists Sandra Arnold, MD, and Nick Hysmith, MD, explore some of the common information circulating around COVID-19 and provide guidance on whether these ideas are fact, fiction or somewhere in between.
1. COVID tests can have an adverse effect on my child. Verdict: FALSE
COVID-19 tests are conducted by inserting a swab into the nose or the throat to collect a small specimen. All swabs used for COVID-19 testing are completely sterile and no virus is present. The swabs are then tested after collecting the sample from the individual to see if the COVID-19 virus is present.
The only side effects of a COVID-19 test are mild discomfort from the swab having to be placed deep in the nostril to obtain an adequate sample.
2. Masks will protect me from contracting COVID-19. Verdict: MOSTLY TRUE
Your risk of catching COVID drastically diminishes when wearing a mask by protecting you from the droplets others produce that might contain the virus. Wearing a mask is especially important in preventing the spread of your own droplets to others if you have COVID.
However, it’s still important to socially distance and thoroughly wash your hands – even when wearing a mask. A mask is only effective if used properly. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth when wearing the mask and clean reusable masks frequently.
3. I can take medications that prevent COVID-19. Verdict: FALSE
No medication currently exists that prevents COVID-19. The current methods that best prevent contracting the disease are wearing a mask, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.
4. Children cannot contract COVID-19. Verdict: FALSE
The COVID-19 pandemic has been most devastating to adult populations. However, children can contract the disease and exhibit the classic symptoms. While it is true that they are more likely to have asymptomatic infection that adults, they also can become ill from the virus.
5. We have effective treatments available for COVID-19. Verdict: TRUE
No cure currently exists for COVID-19, but physicians do have several options when it comes to treating the disease in individuals who are sick enough to require hospitalization. None of these are a cure for the disease but work to lessen its effects and symptoms.