Myths – and outright fake news – often take hold when an outbreak of a new disease spreads, and the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has been no exception.
These myths may fuel unnecessary worries – and even panic. On the other hand, people may also peddle unlikely miracle cures or prevention measures of dubious effectiveness.
Ultimately, therefore, such myths can actually prove counterproductive as countries strive to contain the disease or prevent it from reaching their borders.
Health authorities the world over have gone into overdrive to inform the public to take common sense precautions and dispel myths. Malta’s own Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate is no exception to the rule.
The World Health Organisation is also lending a helping hand with its “myth busters,” which explain, among other things, that yes, receiving letters or packages from China is not a cause for concern as coronaviruses do not survive long on objects.
Among other things, the WHO also highlights that hand-dryers won’t kill the virus, that garlic is not likely to prevent infection, and that antibiotics are not effective against the coronavirus – or any other virus for that matter.
Its myth busters can be freely downloaded from its website, with the WHO encouraging the public to share them with their friends on social media.