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Pictures | Tue Mar 17, 2020 | 7:20pm GMT

COVID-19 and the new coronavirus: Fact versus fiction

Social media is awash with myths about how people might stop the new coronavirus or treat infection with COVID-19, the disease it causes. Here are some facts to address the fiction:

Marzio Toniolo/via REUTERS

Social media is awash with myths about how people might stop the new coronavirus or treat infection with COVID-19, the disease it causes. Here are some facts to address the fiction: Marzio Toniolo/via REUTERS

Social media is awash with myths about how people might stop the new coronavirus or treat infection with COVID-19, the disease it causes. Here are some facts to address the fiction: Marzio Toniolo/via REUTERS
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TRANSMISSION - Fiction: The new coronavirus can be spread by mosquito bites and in Chinese food.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

TRANSMISSION - Fiction: The new coronavirus can be spread by mosquito bites and in Chinese food. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

TRANSMISSION - Fiction: The new coronavirus can be spread by mosquito bites and in Chinese food. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Fact: No. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily via droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

Fact: No. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily via droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins,...more

Fact: No. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily via droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS
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PROTECTION - Fiction: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can prevent infection with COVID-19.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

PROTECTION - Fiction: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can prevent infection with COVID-19. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

PROTECTION - Fiction: Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can prevent infection with COVID-19. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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Fact: No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people. There is some weak evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline can help some people recover more quickly from the common cold, but it does not prevent respiratory infections.

CDC/Hannah A Bullock and Azaibi Tamin/Handout via REUTERS

Fact: No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people. There is some weak evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline can help some people recover more quickly from the common cold, but it does not...more

Fact: No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people. There is some weak evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline can help some people recover more quickly from the common cold, but it does not prevent respiratory infections. CDC/Hannah A Bullock and Azaibi Tamin/Handout via REUTERS
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Fiction: Some claims on social media suggest that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can protect against COVID-19 infection, or that gargling bleach or drinking excessive amounts of water can somehow "flush it out."

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Fiction: Some claims on social media suggest that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can protect against COVID-19 infection, or that gargling bleach or drinking excessive amounts of water can somehow "flush it out." REUTERS/Jessica...more

Fiction: Some claims on social media suggest that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can protect against COVID-19 infection, or that gargling bleach or drinking excessive amounts of water can somehow "flush it out." REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
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Fact: There is no evidence to back these claims. Good hygiene practices including frequent hand washing and avoiding close social contact can help reduce the risk of infection.

REUTERS/Maggie Andresen

Fact: There is no evidence to back these claims. Good hygiene practices including frequent hand washing and avoiding close social contact can help reduce the risk of infection. REUTERS/Maggie Andresen

Fact: There is no evidence to back these claims. Good hygiene practices including frequent hand washing and avoiding close social contact can help reduce the risk of infection. REUTERS/Maggie Andresen
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Fiction: Hand dryers are effective in killing the new coronavirus.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Fiction: Hand dryers are effective in killing the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Fiction: Hand dryers are effective in killing the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
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Fact: No. Hand dryers are not effective against COVID-19, but frequently cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or washing them with soap and water is. Clean hands should be dried thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer.

REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Fact: No. Hand dryers are not effective against COVID-19, but frequently cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or washing them with soap and water is. Clean hands should be dried thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer. REUTERS/Juan...more

Fact: No. Hand dryers are not effective against COVID-19, but frequently cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or washing them with soap and water is. Clean hands should be dried thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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Fiction: Cold weather, hot weather, snow, eating garlic or taking a hot bath have also been suggested as ways people can prevent themselves becoming infected.

REUTERS/Lindsay Morris

Fiction: Cold weather, hot weather, snow, eating garlic or taking a hot bath have also been suggested as ways people can prevent themselves becoming infected. REUTERS/Lindsay Morris

Fiction: Cold weather, hot weather, snow, eating garlic or taking a hot bath have also been suggested as ways people can prevent themselves becoming infected. REUTERS/Lindsay Morris
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Fact: There is no evidence behind these claims and no evidence as yet to suggest that COVID-19 will be affected by weather or the seasons. The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with anyone who might be infected. This way, you can eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that might occur by touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

REUTERS/Stringer

Fact: There is no evidence behind these claims and no evidence as yet to suggest that COVID-19 will be affected by weather or the seasons. The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with anyone who might...more

Fact: There is no evidence behind these claims and no evidence as yet to suggest that COVID-19 will be affected by weather or the seasons. The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with anyone who might be infected. This way, you can eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that might occur by touching your eyes, mouth and nose. REUTERS/Stringer
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Fiction: You should wear a face mask at all times when outdoors.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Fiction: You should wear a face mask at all times when outdoors. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Fiction: You should wear a face mask at all times when outdoors. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
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Fact: No. People who are healthy, have no symptoms and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 need to wear a mask if they are taking care of a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Masks are only effective if you are coughing or sneezing - in which case you should be self isolating - and only when used in combination with frequent hand-washing and other hygiene practices.

REUTERS/Aly Song

Fact: No. People who are healthy, have no symptoms and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 need to wear a mask if they are taking care of a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Masks are only effective if you are coughing or...more

Fact: No. People who are healthy, have no symptoms and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 need to wear a mask if they are taking care of a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Masks are only effective if you are coughing or sneezing - in which case you should be self isolating - and only when used in combination with frequent hand-washing and other hygiene practices. REUTERS/Aly Song
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TREATMENT - Fiction: Antibiotics can prevent and treat the new coronavirus.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

TREATMENT - Fiction: Antibiotics can prevent and treat the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

TREATMENT - Fiction: Antibiotics can prevent and treat the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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Fact: Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. They will not prevent or treat infection with the new coronavirus. There are currently no specific proven medicines for COVID-19 infection, but those infected can relieve and treat mild symptoms with over-the-counter fever-reducing medicines such as paracetamol and aspirin.

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Fact: Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. They will not prevent or treat infection with the new coronavirus. There are currently no specific proven medicines for COVID-19 infection, but those infected can relieve and treat mild...more

Fact: Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. They will not prevent or treat infection with the new coronavirus. There are currently no specific proven medicines for COVID-19 infection, but those infected can relieve and treat mild symptoms with over-the-counter fever-reducing medicines such as paracetamol and aspirin. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
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