JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is a lot of misinformation circulating online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At News4Jax, we’re getting our information from agencies such as the Florida Department of Health, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
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But that’s not always the case with information being shared on social media. Here are some of the most common myths our newsroom has been getting:
You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by swallowing or gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, saltwater, ethanol or other substances.
This is not only false but dangerous, according to Johns Hopkins. The CDC says one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The new coronavirus was deliberately created or released by people.
False. Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be, according to Johns Hopkins.
You should keep your mouth moist and drink a lot of water to prevent infection.
False. Drinking water prevents dehydration, but the Associated Press reports drinking more water will not keep anyone from catching the virus.
Drinking water often will flush the virus into your stomach, where acid will kill it.
Again, this is false. You cannot “flush out” the virus from your airway by drinking water.
Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
No. The WHO says 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). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used according to directions.