WHO debunks myths on coronavirus


  • Philippines
  • Sunday, 09 Feb 2020

People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus, assures WHO. - AP

MANILA, (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): As fake information on the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) continues to circulate, the World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines debunked some rumours and myths to educate the public about the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan City in China.

Packages from China are safe

In a Facebook post, WHO stressed that there is no risk of contamination by the novel coronavirus when receiving a package from China.

“Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus, ” read the statement.

The global health authority said based on their analysis, contamination of coronaviruses “do not survive long” on objects including letters and packages.

Pets at home can’t spread nCoV

There is no scientific evidence to show that animals and pets at home can spread or be infected with the 2019-nCoV ARD, WHO said.

WHO, however, advised the washing of hands with soap and water after engaging with pets at home, which will protect owners from common bacteria.

“This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can be passed between pets and humans, ” WHO said.

Pneumonia vaccines, antibiotics cannot protect public vs nCoV

WHO also reminded that vaccines against pneumonia will not save the public from nCoV as the vaccine for the new coronavirus is still being developed.

“Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus, ” WHO said.

WHO also reminded the public that antibiotics will not prevent and treat the new coronavirus, saying the 2019-nCoV is a virus while antibiotics only work against bacteria.

WHO, however, recommended the public to take vaccines that would protect them against respiratory illnesses for health safety. The public should consult their respective doctors on which vaccine they should have.

Those who have bacterial co-infection should take antibiotics but should consult their doctors on what type of medicine they should take, WHO said.

2019-nCoV can spread to both humid and hot climates

WHO advised the public to observe proper hygiene regardless of the climate as precautionary measures against 2019-nCoV ARD.

“Wherever you live, whatever the climate it is important to follow precautions. Wash your hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a bent elbow. Throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands immediately afterwards, ” said WHO.

Alcohol not a deterrent vs nCoV infection

Drinking alcohol may be fun at parties but it will not protect the public from getting infected with the new coronavirus, according to the world’s health experts.

WHO reminded that alcohol should be taken in moderation and should be prevented amid the 2019-nCoV ARD threat

“Alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, and people who do not drink alcohol should not start drinking in an attempt to prevent 2019-nCoV infection, ” WHO said.

The complete list of myths and rumours on the new coronavirus can be viewed on the WHO official website. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

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