Corona virus myths that Kenyans should not believe

Which other myths have you heard?

Busting corona virus myths

So far, we have three confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Kenya. Amidst all the panic, paranoia and attempts to stay safe, we need to also be careful of the information we take in.

For instance, not everything that people are saying on social media is true. Some of the things are mere myths that we are about to bust with reference to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

1. The virus does not affect Africans

Let’s just hope that nobody still believes this. Not after the already confirmed cases in different African countries (Kenya included).

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe dismissed the myth when announcing the first case in Kenya.

2. The virus cannot be transmitted in hot and humid areas

Earlier on, some people imagined that the virus could only be spread in areas with cold temperatures given that China was experiencing winter when the virus broke out around November, 2019. According to WHO, COVID-19 can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the temperatures.

3. Cold temperatures can kill corona virus

Even if you lived on top of a snow-capped mountain, the virus will still thrive. This is because your body temperature ranges between 36.5°C to 37°C in spite of the external temperatures. So wherever you are, you just have to keep on taking the necessary precautionary measures.

4. Wearing a mask alone can protect you from corona virus

Now, let’s get some facts right people. First of all, you don’t have to walk around with a mask unless you are coughing or sneezing. If you are healthy, WHO recommends wearing a medical mask only when taking care of someone with COVID-19.

"Wear a medical mask when entering a room where patients suspected or confirmed of being infected with 2019-nCoV are admitted and in any situation of care provided to a suspected or confirmed case; use a particulate respirator at least as protective as a US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95, European Union (EU) standard FFP2, or equivalent" WHO.

Also, wearing a mask alone won’t prevent you from being infected with corona virus. You must use it in combination with other protective measures like washing your hands frequently with soap and water, as well as using alcohol based hand sanitizers.

How to wear the mask: Before wearing the mask, make sure you sanitize your hands or clean them with soap and water. Put on the mask in a way that it covers your nose and mouth leaving no in between the mask and your face. Even with the mask on, you must still avoid touching it and replace it with a new one as soon as it gets damp.

5. Drinking alcohol kills corona virus

Don’t be duped. It doesn’t work.

“Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth).” WHO warns.

Some people also died of alcohol poisoning in Iran after rumours spread that drinking alcohol would prevent COVID-19. You don’t want that!

6. Corona virus only affects the elderly

It’s true that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease are at a higher risk of being infected with COVID-19. However, people of all ages can be victims.

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