WHO Clarifies COVID-19 Facts vs. Myths

August 23, 2020 by Institute on Aging


With the widespread information about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fiction. Even though we’ve learned a lot about the virus since March, there are still a number of “rumors” floating around. Here are a few of them in which the World Health Organization (WHO) helps clarify.

Fact or Myth? Hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19.

Myth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, this “wonder drug” is clinically ineffective when it comes to COVID-19.

Fact or Myth? People need to wear face masks when exercising as this prevents the spread of coronavirus.

Myth. The WHO recommends that masks should NOT be worn during exercise, as they reduce the ability to breathe easily and sweat encourages the growth of bacteria. The best way to be safe during exercising is to maintain social distance of 6 feet or more.

Fact or Myth? The weather outside has no effect on the spread of COVID-19.

Fact: COVID-19 can survive in any kind of weather, including extremely hot and cold temperatures. Countries with consistently hot weather (such as Brazil) have had outbreaks as well as those with cooler weather.

Fact or Myth? Adding hot peppers to your food can prevent COVID-19.

Myth: This one is real rubbish! Even though peppers can enhance the taste of your food, they don’t do anything to protect you from contracting a virus. The best way to keep safe is to wear a mask, practice frequent hand washing and social distance yourself.

Fact or Myth? If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without feeling uncomfortable or coughing, you don’t have COVID-19.

Myth: Remember that many people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, so this silly exercise gives no indication if you are infected or not. The best way to tell if you have the disease is through a laboratory test, although dry cough, tiredness and fever are all indicative symptoms.

Fact or Myth? Vaccines against pneumonia do not protect against the COVID-19 virus.

Fact: This is true. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

However, vaccinations that protect your from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia are recommended to protect your health. 

*Source: World Health Organization.

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