With novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the rise in Wisconsin and throughout the world, there have been many articles shared on the topic. Unfortunately, this wealth of information has led to some misconceptions about the virus. Below, we dispel some common myths about COVID-19 and give you additional resources if you are looking to learn more.
“COVID-19 will go away once the weather gets warmer.”
One common misconception surrounding COVID-19 is that the spread of the virus will decrease once higher temperatures and humidity arrive.
However, it is not yet known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of the virus. While some viruses like the flu, spread more during winter months, it is still possible to become sick from these viruses during other times of the year.
“Only elderly people are at risk.”
As a new virus, no one is immune to COVID-19 until they have been infected. However, it is important to know that some individuals are at a higher risk of getting very sick if they contract the virus. This includes:
- Elderly men and women.
- People who have chronic medical conditions like heart and lung disease or diabetes.
“Face masks protect against COVID-19.”
The World Health Organization only recommends using masks in specific situations.
If you are coughing, sneezing or having difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask and seek medical care. You do not need to wear masks if you are not experiencing these symptoms, since there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick.
However, if you are healthy and taking care of a person who may have COVID-19, you should wear a mask when in the same room.
If you are wearing a mask, it will be most effective in combination with proper hand hygiene.
“My pet could give me the coronavirus.”
With so much surrounding COVID-19 still unknown, many individuals may wonder whether their pets can spread the virus. As of this time, the CDC has stated that there is no evidence that companion animals like pets are able to spread COVID-19.
“The virus could spread through the food that I eat.”
Before preparing or eating food, it is important that you practice proper hand hygiene. However, there is a very low risk of the virus being spread from food products and currently no evidence that supports transmission of COVID-19 via food.