As infections with extreme acute
respiratory misery syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proceed to extend,
there was a concurrent improve in information and information, each correct and
inaccurate. Therefore, now we have undertaken a overview of a substantial quantity of
this info, and tried to make clear a few of the most recurrent misconceptions.
For instance, “coronavirus” just isn’t the suitable identifier for the reason for the present an infection inflicting epidemics in >40 nations. Coronavirus is the identify of a household of viruses, which trigger infections in people and animals.1,2 The present outbreak is brought on by a pressure of coronavirus that has been named SARS-Cov-2; the constellation of respiratory signs brought on by this virus is known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).3
1. COVID-19 is a pandemic.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has prevented deeming the virus a pandemic, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “This virus has pandemic potential. This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.” A pandemic is described as an epidemic that has progressed to a worldwide scale. The time period epidemic is utilized for the case of an an infection that spreads extra quickly than anticipated, over a big geographic space.5
2. You can get COVID-19 from merchandise shipped from China.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not discovered any proof to recommend that animals or animal merchandise imported from China pose a danger for spreading COVID-19 within the United States.6 While it could be potential that an individual can get COVID-19 by touching a floor or object that has the viral particles on it after which touching their very own mouth, nostril, or eyes, there was no proof to assist this as the primary manner the virus spreads. In truth, one examine reported that whereas the virus could stay on surfaces for as much as 9 days, “Data on the transmissibility of coronaviruses from contaminated surfaces to hands were not found. However, it could be shown with influenza A virus that a contact of 5 [seconds] can transfer 31.6% of the viral load to the hands.”7
3. Any cough-based sickness is COVID-19.
It is vital to do not forget that within the
United States, it’s nonetheless flu season, and though it might be wrapping up, it
can final by May.8 Further, there are a number of households of
viruses that trigger respiratory signs; these viruses (eg, rhinoviruses,
adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza viruses)
are the reason for the widespread chilly, and flow into year-round.9,10
When is a cough regarding? If you’re feeling sick with cough, fever and problem respiration, and have been in shut contact with an individual identified to have COVID-19, or when you stay in or have not too long ago traveled from an space with ongoing unfold of COVID-19.6
4. Community unfold means anybody, anyplace can get the an infection at any time.
The time period neighborhood unfold is used to explain a state of affairs whereby the precise supply of an an infection can’t be recognized.11 This generally happens within the setting of an epidemic: as soon as the circumstances of an an infection attain a sure level, an individual could turn out to be contaminated with out typical danger elements resembling journey to an endemic space, or an individual has close-contact with a sick individual. In this case, one could not know when or the place they encountered an contaminated particular person. This individual might also not but know they’re ailing, as they might nonetheless be in an incubation or asymptomatic stage of the sickness. However, contact remains to be a requisite for transmission, knowingly or unknowingly. Community unfold of infections might be ameliorated by the apply of hand hygiene, and staying house if you really feel unwell.6,12
5. Everyone who will get contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 will die or conversely, solely aged, sick individuals will die.
Although nearly all of circumstances that lead to loss of life are among the many aged, and people with power well being situations, COVID-19 has affected largely all age teams, in addition to individuals with no underlying illnesses. There have been no deaths reported amongst youngsters aged <9 years, who symbolize only one% of all circumstances of an infection.13 Individuals aged 10 to 19 years display an identical incidence, and people aged 20 to 29 years account for roughly 8% of circumstances.14 People aged 30 to 79 years, nevertheless, account for 87% of circumstances.13
The fatality price for COVID-19 can also be skewed towards the aged: individuals aged 70 to 79 years have a fatality price of 8%, in contrast with 14.8% amongst these aged >80 years.13 People with any underlying comorbidity have the next fatality price.14 In addition, studies point out extra individuals of the male intercourse have been contaminated; they’ve additionally extra usually offered with extra extreme an infection, and have had increased loss of life charges.14
6. COVID-19 is extra transmissible/deadlier than the flu.
This is hard. Such statements can appear
true if one is simply taking a look at sure items of knowledge; however information wants context.
For instance, the case fatality price is continuously reported as being increased than
that of the flu; nevertheless, it has already been demonstrated that fatality charges
range considerably throughout affected person populations. Moreover, evaluating a price of
one an infection to a different when the elements that affect that price (variety of people
contaminated and variety of fatalities) are so considerably totally different is
cumbersome. Seasonal influenza has a fatality price of <1%,15
in contrast with the roughly 2% fatality price presently reported for SARS-CoV-2.
However, any subgroup analyses (eg, people who’ve died) of the roughly 35
million annual circumstances of the flu will, most of the time, mathematically discover
a smaller quantity in contrast with an evaluation of the roughly 114,000 circumstances of
However, present information on the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 are extra dependable in that calculations definitively take into consideration extra variables.17 These information display that this an infection is barely extra transmissible than the flu; preventive measures, nevertheless, are the identical. For this cause, all main well being organizations, authorities officers, and even mass transit programs stress the significance of washing your arms continuously, coughing/sneezing into the criminal of your elbow, and staying house when ailing.6,12
7. Facial masks will hold you from getting sick.
The use of facial masks as a safety measure for COVID-19 just isn’t presently beneficial for most of the people.18 Healthcare staff who’ve direct contact with identified circumstances of SARS-CoV-2 are beneficial to make use of an N95 respirator masks, along side applicable gowning and gloving methods, and solely within the hospital/clinic setting.18,19 The N95 filtering facepiece respirator capabilities by eradicating particles from the air as the person breathes by the masks.19 Unlike these, different facemasks are solely efficient at stopping one from inhaling giant respiratory droplets. The use of a non-N95 facemask is efficient in stopping an individual who’s feeling unwell, or has a cough/sneeze-based sickness from spreading an ongoing an infection.
8. You shouldn’t journey internationally, in any respect.
The CDC points journey suggestions for a number of infectious illnesses, together with COVID-19.20 A Warning Level 3 signifies avoidance of all nonessential journey to a given location. An Alert Level 2 advises that folks with power medical situations and older adults ought to keep away from journey to such areas. Watch Level 1 implies that the CDC doesn’t suggest cancelling journey to such locations. Due to the circulation and air filtration system on airplanes, the danger for an infection transmission is low; the CDC does, nevertheless, suggest conscientious hand hygiene on this case.
Cruise ships put giant numbers of individuals, probably from quite a lot of nations all over the world, in frequent and shut contact with one another; subsequently the CDC strongly recommends frequent hand washing and avoidance of touching your face, and staying in your cabin and notifying the onboard medical heart instantly when you really feel unwell.
9. Flu or pneumonia vaccines may even assist stop COVID.
There are inadequate information to assist the advocacy of the influenza or pneumococcal vaccines to forestall COVID-19.21 While these 2 sicknesses have comparable symptomology to COVID-19, the vaccines are formulated to be lively particularly in opposition to the influenza virus and streptococcal micro organism, neither of which contribute to COVID-19. However, it’s extremely beneficial that everybody who’s indicated to obtain both vaccine does so as a result of it might support in simplifying the analysis of potential SARS-CoV-2 infections.21,22
10. Heat will kill the virus.
Although a couple of high-ranking authorities
officers have alluded to the chance that prime temperatures will kill the
virus, there may be not presently sufficient proof to state this with scientific
certainty. While the speed of most viral infections decreases in the course of the summer season
months because of increased temperatures and humidity, there are 2 vital
caveats: persons are much less more likely to be in shut quarters with one another for
prolonged durations, and though nations within the northern hemisphere are coming into
hotter months, the other is true for nations within the southern hemisphere.23 Further,
earlier expertise with and analysis on the opposite Coronavirus epidemics (SARS and
MERS) demonstrated that this household of viruses could have little drawback
surviving in hotter climates.23
- Peiris JSM. Coronaviruses. In: Greenwood D, Barer M, Slack R, Irving W, eds. Medical Microbiology: A Guide to Microbial Infections. 18th ed. Elsevier; 2012:587-593.
- Fehr AR, Perlman S. Coronaviruses: an overview of their replication and pathogenesis. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1282:1-23.
- The World Health Organization. Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it. Updated February 11, 2020. Acessed March 6, 2020. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen
- Nebehay S, Shields M. “Fatal mistake” for countries to assume they won’t get coronavirus -WHO chief. Reuters. Published February 27, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020.
- Grennan D. What is a pandemic? [published online March 5, 2019]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0700
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How COVID-19 spreads. Updated March 4, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
- Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistance of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents [published online February 6, 2020]. J Hosp Infect. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu season. Updated July 12, 2018. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm
- National Institutes of Health. Understanding a common cold virus. Updated April 13, 2019. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/understanding-common-cold-virus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common colds: protect yourself and others. Updated February 11, 2019. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC confirms possible instance of community spread of COVID-19 in U.S. Updated February 26, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0226-Covid-19-spread.html
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Good hygiene practices-reducing the spread of infections and viruses. Updated March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/good_hygiene.html
- Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Characteristics of and important lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China [published online February 24, 2020]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2648
- Guan W, Ni Z, Hu Y, et al. Clinical chartacteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China [published online February 28, 2020]. N Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2002032
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease burden of influenza. Updated January 10, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
- Johns Hopkins. Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases. Updated March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
- Swerdlow DL, Finelli L. Preparation for possible sustained transmission of 2019 Novel Coronavirus: lessons from previous epidemics [published online February 11, 2020]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1960
- The World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: when and how to use masks. Updated March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently asked questions about personal protective equiptment. Updated February 29, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travel: frequently asked questions and answers. Updated March 3, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
- Yale Medicine. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/covid-19/
- University of Chicago Medicine. COVID-19: what we know so far about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Published on February 13, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/prevention-and-screening-articles/wuhan-coronavirus
- Le Page M. Will heat kill the coronavirus?. New Scientist. 2020;245(3270):6-7.
This article initially appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor