Be aware. Be safe.

The coronavirus, now called SARS-CoV-2, has caused an outbreak of illness that started in December 2019 in China and has spread to around 40 other countries. The virus causes severe lung disease and has infected 78,927 people in China as of 28 February, with 2,790 cases leading to death. The rapid spread of the virus has also lead to an outbreak of certain rumors, myths and other pieces of misinformation about the coronavirus. Here's some facts and myths about the new coronavirus.

MYTH: A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.

FACT: There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.

MYTH: Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?

FACT: No. 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).

MYTH: Never open a package from China.

FACT: The World Health Organization has confirmed people receiving packages from China are safe.

MYTH: A face mask will protect you from COVID-19.

FACT: Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients. But for the general public, the benefit of wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not clear. Experts say they may provide some protection from large drops, sprays or splashes, but because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes.

MYTH: Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

FACT: People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Source - Google, WHO, Stamford Health, Hopkins Medicine

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