COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has raised lots of questions. The information gaps have quickly led to rumors and misinformation so we took some time to answer some frequently asked questions.
Does garlic prevent you from getting coronavirus?
No. Garlic contains compounds with potent medicinal properties and is highly nutritious. However, there is no evidence that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus.
What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?
“Isolation” is used for someone who is sick while “quarantine” is used for someone who seems healthy but might become sick. Isolation separates people with a contagious disease from healthy people to contain the spread. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Will flu shots help reduce the chances of contracting the virus?
No. The flu vaccine is designed to prevent infections with influenza viruses, which are very different from coronaviruses. It can only help reduce the number of influenza cases during this COVID-19 outbreak.
What does ‘herd immunity’ mean?
Herd immunity occurs when a large percentage of the population becomes infected and then survives, thus becoming immune to a virus. The virus then stops spreading because not enough people are available to transmit the disease.
Is drinking a lot of water effective in washing down the virus from one’s throat?
No. Drinking a lot of water is good to keep the body hydrated but once the virus enters into the body, it goes into the airway and no amount of water can be used to wash the virus out of the body.
Can I wear a face shield without a mask?
No! The eyes, nose and mouth are the 3 entry points for COVID-19, however the nose and mouth are the main points. Protecting the eyes alone and leaving out the nose and mouth puts one in a higher risk of getting infected.
Does inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water clear the virus from your lungs?
No. Inhaling steam to treat any sort of respiratory illness helps with the symptoms, such as cough, nasal congestion and chest congestion. However, this is only symptomatic relief and it is not a treatment for any viral infection.
Are hand dryers effective in killing COVID-19?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the virus. To protect yourself against the virus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. You should also eat well to boost your immune system.
What alternatives do I have if there are no hand sanitizers available? Can I use ethyl alcohol or liquor?
If hand sanitizers are not available, handwashing with soap and water is the best alternative. Liquor is not effective against coronavirus. For an alcohol-based hand rub to be effective, it must have an alcohol content of 60% or more. Please note that drinking alcohol cannot cure you of the virus.
Can I catch coronavirus from my pets?
One study has shown that cats and ferrets can catch COVID-19 and pass it to one another. These pets don’t appear to get very sick or able to pass it to humans, but pet owners should be careful. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and surfaces and wash your hands to prevent infection.
How can I get tested for COVID-19?
If you are in Nigeria and experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate yourself from others and call the NCDC toll-free line 080097000010 or your local state line to report.
Can antibiotics help treat or cure COVID-19?
No. COVID-19 is a virus and antibiotics are not effective in preventing or treating viruses. Antibiotics are used only for bacterial infections and misuse of antibiotics can result in antimicrobial resistance.
Are sanitation chambers effective for killing COVID-19?
There is no science that says sanitation chambers work. Currently, there is no evidence that fomites (contaminated objects and materials) are a significant source of infection for COVID-19. So these chambers can give a false sense of security and might make people neglect handwashing and other key infection prevention practices #COVID19FAQ
Can one get re-infected with COVID-19?
It is difficult to say. We are not sure. People who have recovered should have developed immunity to protect them from a second infection, however there seem to be some instances of re-infection.
Is COVID-19 present in the blood?
Unlike HIV and other viruses, COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through blood. It is a respiratory illness and it is transmitted through respiratory droplets which come out through the infected person’s nose and mouth.
Is COVID-19 viable in water and other liquids?
Coronavirus hasn’t been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, in most places the local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill it.
Should I wear gloves to prevent COVID-19?
Wearing gloves is an essential practice in certain settings especially healthcare facilities. But wearing gloves to go out in public might cause you to practice worse hand hygiene because you may have a false sense of confidence that you are safe. Gloves are only useful when used the right way which requires changing them after contact with a person/surface and practicing hand hygiene immediately afterwards. Best practice is to use your hands to do everyday tasks and then wash them with soap and water or use hand sanitizer