With so much news coverage on COVID-19, it can be hard to filter through everything that is being said and posted online. Because everyone has a platform to share their opinions, false information seems to be spreading faster than the virus itself these days.
That’s why we’re setting the record straight by fact-checking a few popular COVID-19 theories circulating the internet.
1. Antibiotics can treat and prevent coronavirus.
False. Antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is a virus; therefore, antibiotics are an inadequate form of treatment or prevention. However, it is possible to be prescribed antibiotics if hospitalized for COVID-19, to treat a bacterial co-infection.
2. COVID-19 infection rates will decrease as the weather gets warmer.
Undetermined. There’s been talk that the virus will be killed by higher temperatures. Although there are viruses that tend to follow a seasonal pattern, there is not enough data to determine whether COVID-19 will be influenced by temperature. And, there have been plenty of cases reported in countries with hot weather. Many experts warn against relying on this theory as a solution.
3. Coronavirus comes from beer.
False. As silly as it may seem, Google Trends reported a surge in searches for both “corona beer virus,” and “beer virus.” The origins of COVID-19 are traced back to Wuhan, China, and have no correlation to the alcoholic beverage.
4. Heavy alcohol drinkers are at higher risk.
True. According to WHO, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with adverse immune-related health effects, such as susceptibility to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. With COVID-19 being an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), excessive alcohol drinking could put you at a higher risk of infection.
5. Coronavirus tests cost $3,000.
False. A claim that a COVID-19 test cost a few thousand dollars went viral on Twitter in March.The FDA authorized the use of two tests, one from the New York State Department of Public Health, and the other from the CDC. Neither agency charges patients for the COVID-19 test.
For indisputable news and updates on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage.
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