Fact check on novel coronavirus

Chinadaily| 2020-02-11 10:45:34|Editor: Wang Xiaoyu
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Rumor: The novel coronavirus is a type of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.

Fact: The novel coronavirus may share some genetic similarities with the SARS virus, but it is inaccurate to say it is a type of SARS virus.

Rumor: Ultraviolet lamps can be used for skin disinfection.

Fact: Ultraviolet lamps should not be used for the disinfection of hands or other parts of the skin, as ultraviolet radiation can cause skin allergies

Rumor: The new coronavirus can be killed within 30 seconds when people using a hand dryer.

Fact: Using a hand dryer cannot kill the new coronavirus.

Rumor: The new coronavirus can be killed when spraying ethanol or chlorine over the whole body.

Fact: Spraying ethanol or chlorine all over the body does not kill viruses that have already entered into the body.

Rumor: The virus can be caught from people with no symptoms.

Fact: People who have symptoms have caused the majority of the spread of the virus. Based on the observation of MERS, it is rare for infected patients showing no symptoms to spread the coronavirus to others.

Rumor: The novel coronavirus can be transmitted through aerosols and digestive tracts.

Fact: The confirmed transmission routes of the virus are through droplets and contacts, and other transmission routes, such as through aerosol and fecal-oral, need to be further clarified.

Rumor: Fur collars can attract viruses more easily.

Fact: The virus prefers smooth, non-porous surfaces and has a shorter retention time on woolen fabrics.

Rumor: The higher the concentration of alcohol, the more effective a disinfectant is.

Fact: Ethanol at a concentration of 60 to 80 percent proves to be an effective antiseptic.However, 90 percent alcohol concentration may reduce the effectiveness of disinfection.

Rumor: Taking a hot bath or using air conditioning can kill the novel coronavirus.

Fact: No. Although the novel coronavirus is vulnerable to heat, it can only be inactivated after exposure to a 56 C temperature for over 30 minutes.

Rumor: Taking antibiotics can prevent and treat the new coronavirus.

Fact: Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus is a virus, and therefore antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

Rumor: Older people are more susceptible to the new coronavirus.

Fact: People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Rumor: Sun exposure can kill the novel coronavirus

Fact: Sun exposure cannot kill the novel coronavirus. The irradiation temperature of the sun cannot reach 56 C, and the ultraviolet rays cannot reach the intensity of ultraviolet lamps, so the virus can't be killed by the sun.

Rumor: Putting on sesame can help block the new coronavirus from entering your body.

Fact: Sesame oil does not kill the new coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform.

Rumor: Eating garlic can protect people from getting infected with the new coronavirus.

Fact: There is no evidence that eating garlic does help, although garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties.

Rumor: Using mouthwash will protect people from the new coronavirus.

Fact: Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV.

Rumor: Regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Fact: The fact is, there is some limited evidence regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infection.

Rumor: Vaccines against pneumonia can protect people from getting infected with the new coronavirus.

Fact: Vaccines such as the pneumococcal vaccine and the Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine.

Rumor: Companion pets, such as dogs or cats, can be infected with the new coronavirus.

Fact: There's no evidence companion animals can be infected with the new coronavirus. And it's always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.

Rumor: The novel coronavirus was manufactured and leaked from a research laboratory in China.

Fact: The virus was the result of "nature punishing the uncivilized habits and customs of humans", said Shi Zhengli, a researcher from Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Rumor: The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has withheld important information about the outbreak.

Fact: Information about the 425 cases had already been released to the public before researchers conducted the study, which was later published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Rumor: People receiving packages from China are at risk of contracting the new coronavirus.

Fact: It's safe to receive packages. Previous analysis has shown coronavirus does not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

Rumor: The US drug remdesivir had achieved a remarkable effect on 761 patients participating in the first day of the drug's clinical trial.

Fact: Trials have only just started at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, and no results have been achieved yet.