This viral Twitter thread is busting Covid-19 myths

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2020

The US Doctors debunks myths like ‘Summer kills virus’, ‘Mosquitoes spread virus’, and ‘drinking water every 15 minutes’.

As the global panic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak rises, social media platforms are filled with misinformation on the pandemic, some more harmful than others.

Faheem Younus, the Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland UCH, on Tuesday took to Twitter to debunk some of the most popular myths related to the disease and its spread, in a Twitter thread that later went viral with over 1,40,000 likes and over 71,000 retweets within a day of posting.

He tweeted facts related to how coronavirus will not “go away” in summer and how mosquito bites were not responsible for spreading the virus.

“So I’m hearing many myths about #COVID-19 and would like to quickly clear the record. Coronavirus will go away in Sumer months. Wrong. Previous pandemics didn’t follow weather patterns plus as we enter summer, there will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Virus is global,” Younus tweeted.

“Myth #2: In summer, the virus will spread more due to mosquito bites. Wrong. This infection is spread via respiratory droplets, not blood. Mosquitos don’t increase spread,” he further said.

One of the most common myths doing rounds on social media platforms is that people can check themselves for the virus by holding their breath. The doctor was quick to debunk this misconception.

“Myth #3: If you can hold your breath for ten seconds without discomfort, you don’t have COVID. Wrong: Most young patients with coronavirus will be able to hold their breaths for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderly without the virus won’t be able to do it,” he said on the micro-blogging platform.

He further shared his views on misconceptions related to testing and cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Myth #4: Since COVID testing is unavailable, we should donate blood. The blood bank will test for it. No blood bank is testing for Coronavirus so this attempt will fail. Blood donation is a sacred exercise; let’s make sure we are motivated by the right reasons,” he said in the Twitter thread.

“Myth #5: Coronavirus lives in the throat. So drink lots of water so the virus is pushed into the stomach where the acid will kill it. Virus may gain entry via throat but it penetrates into the host cells. You can’t wash it away. Excessive water will make you run to the toilet,” he added.

Younus further elaborated upon why social distancing was important for containment along with basic personal hygiene practices and how the situation was more serious than it seemed.

“Myth #6: All this social distancing is an over reaction. You’ll see that the virus won’t cause much damage. If we don’t see many infections (I hope) it actually will prove that social distancing worked. Not that the virus was never a big deal,” he tweeted.

“Myth #7: Car accidents kill 30,000 people annually. What’s the big deal with COVID-19? Car accident are not contagious, their fatalities don’t double every three days, they don’t cause mass panic or a market crash.”

“Myth #8: Hand sanitizers are better than soap and water. Wrong. Soap and water actually kills and washes away the virus from skin (it can not penetrate our skin cells) plus it also cleans visible soiling if hands. Don’t worry if Purrell was sold out at your supermarket,” Younus further said.

“Myth #9: One of the best strategies to prevent COVID-19 is to clean every door knob in your home with disinfectants. Wrong. Hand washing/maintaining six feet distance is best practice. Unless you’re caring for a COVID patient at home, your home surfaces should not be a big risk,” he added.

Lastly, he emphasized on the blame game related to the origin of the virus where the US and China have alleged the other to have spread the virus deliberately.

“Myth #10: COVID-19 was deliberately spread by (depending upon your politics) the American or Chinese military. Really???” he shared his views on the topic.

The virus has infected more than 1,60,000 people across the globe, while the spread has slowed down in China, the worst affected remains Italy with more than 31,000 infected and around 2,000 died due to the disease as per reports.

Published on March 18, 2020

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