ADDRESSING MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT COVID-19
Q: Can people of any race or ethnicity get sick from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Yes. COVID-19 cases have now been recorded in over 170 countries1,2.
Q: Are older adults and those with underlying medical conditions or a suppressed immune system the only ones at risk of contracting COVID-19?
No. Older adults and individuals who are immunocompromised and/or have underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19 infection, however, it is possible for people of any age group or health status to become infected with the virus. Although it is far rarer, there have been confirmed reports of healthy teenagers and young adults who have died from COVID-19, and several cases of infants who have been infected3,4. So the danger is that a young person can become infected and either have no symptoms or only mild symptoms and then pass the virus on to someone in a higher risk category. This is why it is so vital that everyone practice social distancing and proper hand hygiene, not only those who are at high risk or who have symptoms.
Q: Is there a proven cure for COVID-19?
No. There are currently no medications that have been proven effective against COVID-19. There is currently a clinical trial in progress and several others that are planning to begin enrolling soon to evaluate whether an antimalarial medication called hydroxychloroquine may be effective in treating the virus5.
Q: Are there any home remedies to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection?
No. There are currently no proven home remedies to prevent or treat COVID-19. Although vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, among other nutritional supplements, may help to support your immune system, there is no evidence showing that they protect you against COVID-19. Chemical cleaning products are effective at killing the virus on surfaces. However, ingesting or applying cleaning products to the body does not kill the virus and is extremely dangerous/deadly6.
Q: If someone has been infected with COVID-19 and fully recovers, are they immune to the disease or is it possible to be re-infected?
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, although we don’t know with 100% certainty that you will be immune to COVID-19 after recovering from the infection, it is highly likely this is the case, given that this is how all other viruses which have been studied are known to work7.
Q: Should I wear a mask and gloves in public and disinfect any packages/mail I receive or items I buy from the store?
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wash your hands (for 20 seconds) frequently, avoid shaking hands with others, maintain a 6-foot distance from all others, and avoid touching your face. Medical masks cannot prevent COVID-19 when used alone or improperly8. They must be combined with proper hand hygiene. Please check out the video (cited below) for further details. Regarding packages and mail, although the virus may be able to survive for a short period of time on these surfaces, that is not the main method of transmission7. The most important way to prevent infection is to continue practicing proper hand hygiene and social distancing.
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