INDIANAPOLIS — As the coronavirus continues to spread, disinformation and false conclusions are spreading along with it.
Here is a look at some common questions people have about the illness that, as of April 1, has killed more than 44,000 people around the world.
Will the coronavirus go away in summer when the weather gets warmer? The reports COVID-19 can be transmitted in hot and humid climates. Cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the late summer and fall months in the southern hemisphere. For example, in Brazil, more than 200 people have died and around 5,800 have been sickened by the virus, according to . Likewise, cold weather and snow cannot kill the coronavirus. Virus spread is controlled by human behavior, and as we wait for a vaccine, the only way we can lessen the coronavirus' impact is by taking preventative steps, such as social distancing, only making essential trips into public, washing our hands and not touching our faces.
Will wearing a face mask prevent me from catching the coronavirus? According to the , no. Professional, tight-fitting respirators, such as N-95 masks, protect health care workers while they care for infected patients. And it is important that people do not stock up and hoard professional masks considering the nationwide shortage hospitals currently face. The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear lightweight disposable surgical masks that do not fit tightly. They can still allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. However, people who have a respiratory illness can wear them to lessen their chance of infecting others.
Can I catch COVID-19 when I gather my mail? There is no evidence that people can catch the coronvirus via their mail. Because of the poor survivability of COVID-19 on surfaces, there is a very low risk of the virus spreading through food products or packaging shipped over a period of days, according to the .
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Do flu or pneumona vaccines protect against the coronavirus? Are there any antibiotics or medications that work? No and no. The coronavirus is completely new, and it is going to take time for scientists to develop a vaccine. Additionally, antibiotics , not viruses, and there are no medications that are recommended to treat or prevent the coronavirus. The WHO also said there is no evidence to support the suggestion made last month by France's health minister Olivier Véran that ibuprofen might worsen the symptoms of COVID-19.
For more information about what is true and false about the coronavirus, view these resources:
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