A dangerous infectious disease called COVID-19 or coronavirus disease, triggered by a novel strain of the coronavirus termed SARS-CoV-2, has afflicted more than 5,30,000 people worldwide. The death toll currently stands at over 24,000 globally.
The coronavirus infection has spread like wildfire, not only in the population residing in mainland China but in cities and countries across the world. The deadly infection at the initial stage presents with persistent coughing, difficulty breathing and fevers and can turn fatal.
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Medical researchers have discovered the trigger factor to be a new, unknown strain of the coronavirus, its other variants being responsible for the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2013.
The coronavirus is a zoonotic virus, implying that it is transmitted from animals to humans. The specific kind of coronavirus that is currently plaguing the Chinese population was found to have stemmed from a wet market in Wuhan, China.
In these wet markets, raw animal meat is sold alongside live animals such as dogs, hares, pigs and chickens. Hence, the likelihood of the novel strain of coronavirus being transmitted from the live animals to meat production is naturally high. In this manner, the viral strain, upon consumption of contaminated animal flesh by people, has subsequently infected the human population.
Due to these hazardous hygiene practices, with families, the world over currently living in fear of contracting the lethal coronavirus, the wet market in Wuhan has been shut down and the Chinese Government has further banned the selling of live animals alongside raw meat produce henceforth.
However, the infection has already spread to several corners of the globe, by means of people traveling to and from China. It is therefore vital to understand the symptoms and preventive measures, to steer clear of coronavirus infection. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Just like in the case of any other epidemic, there are several myths, preventive measures that are doing rounds around the world. Read on, to know more about the popular myths and the facts behind these, for a better understanding of perilous coronavirus.
Common Myths & Facts About The Coronavirus
Coronavirus can spread to humans from their pets.
While it is true that the coronavirus is a zoonotic virus, that resides in animals and afflicts human beings when transmitted by unsanitary meat products, direct contact with pets does not cause the viral infection. Nevertheless, it is advised to always wash both hands with a disinfecting liquid hand wash or soap, to ensure any other bacterial or viral germs do not pass on to people, from their pets.
People receiving packages from China are at high risk of acquiring the coronavirus.
No, coronaviruses do not sustain on objects for a long period of time. They can only inflict the bloodstream of humans and animals, to complete their viral life cycle. It is hence safe to receive packages being shipped from China to other parts of the world.
Antibiotics can help alleviate symptoms of coronavirus.
Not true. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. Coronavirus is a viral ailment for which no vaccine or cure has been discovered yet. Taking active preventive measures to avert the risk of coronavirus is the best way to stay healthy and disease-free. Also Read: Coronavirus: Effective Ways To Prevent The Transmission Of This Deadly Virus
A pneumonia vaccine could protect against coronavirus infection.
No. Research is ongoing by Chinese scientists, to discover an effective cure and design a vaccine to combat the n-COV i.e. novel coronavirus, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Eating garlic guarantees the coronavirus cannot affect the body.
No doubt that garlic is a powerhouse of natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial compounds, which bolster immunity and shield the human system from infection against common bacteria and viruses. However, there is no evidence to suggest it is a definitive preventive food to avoid coronavirus infection.
Are pregnant women at risk of acquiring coronavirus disease?
Yes, the immunity of a pregnant woman is generally low, so expectant mothers should follow proper hygiene and stay away from exposure to any sort of germs.
Can Covid-19 spread through drinking water?
No, water treatment methods ensure the elimination of all viruses including COVID-19
The coronavirus disease does not spread in regions with warm, humid climates.
This is not true. COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a novel strain of coronavirus, can, in fact, be rapidly transmitted in all places across the world, in all climatic conditions, be it summer, winter, spring, autumn or monsoons.
COVID-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites.
There is neither any scientific evidence nor a single instance in COVID-19 affected patients, wherein the coronavirus disease has been transmitted by means of mosquito bites. The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from an infected person to a healthy individual by means of direct contact or encountering contaminated surfaces, via virus particles suspended in air droplets.
Taking a bath in hot water every day will protect people from COVID-19
No. Showering in warm water does not ensure complete prevention of coronavirus disease. The best way to shield the body from COVID-19 infection is by practicing social distancing, staying at home, regularly washing hands and disinfecting frequently used surfaces and objects in the house.