A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.
TRUE: There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.
You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by swallowing or gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.
TRUE: None of these recommendations protects you from getting COVID-19, and some of these practices may be dangerous. The best ways to protect yourself from this coronavirus (and other viruses) include:
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing.
- In addition, you can avoid spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
The new coronavirus was deliberately created or released by people.
TRUE: Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.
Ordering or buying products shipped from China will make a person sick.
TRUE: Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. As of this writing, scientists note that most viruses like this one do not stay alive for very long on surfaces, so it is not likely you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks. The illness is most likely transmitted by droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, but more information is emerging daily.
A face mask will protect you from COVID-19.
TRUE: Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients.
For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.
People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.