Coronavirus | Say NO to Crazy Rumors!

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China's resolute battle against the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak is still ongoing. To date, there are over 44,600 confirmed cases of infections and over 1000 deaths nationwide, while millions of Chinese people have been quarantined during the Spring Festival Holidays and remain in their houses even now. At the same time, rumour mongering on social media platforms has triggered irrational behaviour among many that is still ongoing. Here are some of the most prevalent cases of rumours without basis, which we hope that you can realize aren’t helpful to anyone one during this crisis.

Rumor #1:

Shuang huang lian (A popular Chinese medicine) helps you get rid of the virus!

True or False: False!

While some studies do show that it has some properties that protect the body from infection in some cases, this does not apple to all viruses. There is no specific anti-viral treatment recommended against coronavirus infection so far, and research for treatment measures is still ongoing but it is yet to pass clinical trials.

Where the rumour came from:A report by the Xinhua News Agency days ago claimed Chinese patent medicine, Shuanghuanglian oral liquid, containing three herbal ingredients, is effective in containing the novel coronavirus infection, citing the latest joint research between Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan Institute of Virology. The news was also reported by People’s Daily soon after. It emerged as the most searched topic on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo. People rushed to purchase the medicine online and offline, resulting in it to go off the shelves in quick succession.


Rumour #2:

Drinking alcohol resist the virus!

True or False: False!

While pure alcohol is an effective disinfectant, the alcohol content in the airways of our throat is far from sufficient to kill any viruses or bacteria. Drinking alcohol will therefore not prevent or kill of the virus. Besides, drinking can lead to many more serious infections due to a weakening of the body’s immune system and general health.

Where the rumour came from: On January 22, Li Lanjuan, expert from the National Health Commission of the PRC said in an interview that the new coronavirus is not resistant to alcohol and high temperature. As a result, the topic became highly discussed on social media, and the fake news related to "drinking strong alcohol against coronavirus" spread rapidly. In this regard, Li Lanjuan and other experts said that medical alcohol can be used for disinfection, but it does not mean that drinking alcohol can also help, as the alcohol content is totally different.

Rumor #3:

Vitamin C helps to against the virus!

True or False: False!

This new type of pneumonia is a totally new virus, and there still remain a lot of unknowns about it. However, vitamin C is a well-known prevention technique, which hasn’t had any effect on controlling the infection rates. If fixing the crisis was as simple as taking more vitamin C, the epidemic would have been controlled long ago.

Where it came from: A large number of studies have shown that vitamin C does not help in preventing you from catching a cold. Ruan Guangfeng, the director of the Science, Technology and Nutrition Department said that in terms of preventing viral influenza, there is currently no clinical research to prove that routine supplementation of vitamin C can prevent the disease.

Rumor #4:

Wearing two masks can strengthen your resistance against the virus!

True or False: False!

Wearing one mask is a bit stuffy, not to mention wearing three or four! Dr. Zhong Nanshan has said that it is not even necessary to wear a mask rated for N95, as surgical masks can block most of the spreading droplets in which the virus travels.

Where it came from: Many people are understandably concerned for their health, and some take extreme measures! But the fact is as long as you use the qualified products and make sure to wear them properly, two masks are not better than one.

Rumour #5:

Goggles can strengthen your protection against the virus!

True or False: False!

Actually, they aren’t necessary!

Where it came from: Wang Guangfa, the doctor of Peking University First Hospital, has said that the goggles are mainly for medical use; if you are not in a high risk area like a hospital, a mask is enough for your daily protection.

Rumour #6:

If you don’t open your windows the virus can’t get in!

True or False: False!

Opening your window or door regularly is good for your health as it lets in fresh air when staying at home. The virus does not spread through the air, and therefore there is no risk of contracting it if you leave your window open. In fact, the fresh air will serve to air out your house and make it a more pleasant and healthy environment.

Where it came from: It’s wintertime, and people tend to keep their windows closed to keep out the cold. However, never opening your window will cause your indoor environment to retain much more pollution, especially from cooking. Therefore, the windows should be opened regularly for proper ventilation.

Rumour #7:

I will get the virus through packages!

True or False: False!

Previous analysis has shown that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.

Rumour #8:

Eating lots of garlic resist the virus!

True or False: False!

Allicin (the main anti-bacterial ingredient in garlic) has anti-bacterial effects but bacteria and viruses are different, and there is no clinical data to prove that allicin has a killing effect on the new coronavirus.

Rumour #9:

Eating curry can prevent you from getting the virus!

True or False: False!

Whether it is curry or other seasonings, you can’t just eat healthy foods and get the benefits right away! Even if it is the case that curry really does have this kind of effect, it won’t quickly improve your immune system in a short period of time.

Where it came from: 700 Indians came back from Wuhan are confirmed uninfected.
Netizens: because of eating curry!
Scientists: you’re ridiculous.

Rumour #10:

Lighting firecrackers can get rid of the virus!

True or False: False!

Seek medical help if you are sick! Fireworks have no medical effects.

Rumours are scarier than Viruses!

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