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Coronavirus Myths and Misinformation, Busted

Sanitiser. Face masks. Magic potions. Curious concoctions. Alas, there's no dearth of make-believe weapons to combat the novel coronavirus. With many schools temporarily closed, travel plans on the back burner and hygiene products in short supply, COVID-19 continues its rampage across the globe. And so too does the misinformation surrounding it. A global infodemic From conspiracy theories about the genesis of the virus to dubious articles about its treatments and cures, the information spread for COVID-19 has snowballed into a full-blown, fear-inducing infodemic. In this vein, the World Health Organization (WHO) has rolled out a slew of measures to arrest the proliferation of false information, primarily by partnering with large tech companies such as Google and Facebook. How COVID-19 spreads COVID-19 spreads through respiratory particles diffused through sneezing or coughing. This spread can occur directly, when particles land in the nose or mouth of those in the vicinity, or via surfaces, where droplets are inadvertently transferred to one's nose, mouth or eyes. It is believed that the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces from a few hours to several days. The good news is that washing your hands regularly, and disinfecting surfaces with hydrogen-peroxide, bleach and ethanol are proven to kill the virus. So, if you haven't already, it's a good idea to stock up on disinfectants on your next market run. At Rainbow Hospitals, our disinfectant drive ensures that surfaces are sanitised at regular intervals, so visitors face a minimal risk of surface contamination. Allaying fears If you're alarmed by the abundance of unfounded rumours and misinformation, take heart. Here's some information published by WHO to help you debunk the hearsay and separate fact from fiction. Hot and humid climates are just as conducive to the spread of the virus Cold climates and snow cannot kill the virus (as the human body temperature hovers between 36.5°C to 37°C, irrespective of the climate) The virus cannot be contracted through goods made in China or any other COVID-19 geography The virus cannot be contracted through mosquito bites Hand dryers and ultraviolet disinfection lamps cannot kill the virus Applying alcohol and chlorine all over the body cannot annihilate viruses that have already entered the body There is no evidence to suggest that pets may be carriers of the virus Vaccines against pneumonia do not act as protection against the virus People of all ages can be affected by the virus (older people with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma and heart disease are more susceptible to

serious illness) Antibiotics are not effective against the virus

Keeping you safe at Rainbow Hospitals At Rainbow Hospitals, our coronavirus guidelines ensure that women and children suspected with COVID-19 are scientifically screened, identified and isolated. Dealing with a sick child while confronting fears of the virus can be challenging, but it's important to stay calm and clear-sighted while your child undergoes tests and receives the necessary treatment. Our pediatricians and medical professionals are up-to-date on disease preparedness for the novel coronavirus. If your child exhibits symptoms such as a fever, dry cough, runny nose, or respiratory problems, it's advisable to bring them into the hospital as soon as possible to have them examined. As worldwide research continues to uncover significant information about COVID-19, it's wise to stay abreast of verified updates. Staying in the know can help you put your best foot forward in your family's battle against the disease.

Dr. Pillarisetti Naveen Saradhi

Consultant Pediatric Pulmonologist

Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills