3 Dangerous Coronavirus Myths You May Have Seen Online

Don't believe everything you read.


Melissa Matthews |

People are panicking about coronavirus (also called 2019-nCoV), which was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week. And as fear over transmission of the virus spreads, so does the uptick of misinformation.

If you haven’t been following the news, there’s a current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. The virus has been traced back to Wuhan, China, and experts still don’t know how easily the disease is spread.

Related: Here Are The Unexpected Places Where Germs Live

But public health officials do know some basics about coronavirus and are trying to combat myths that have been popping up online.

Here are three totally bogus, and potentially dangerous, coronavirus myths that are found online:

Coronavirus is linked to Corona beer

Internet searches for “coronavirus beer” have increased and appear as a “breakout term” according to Google Trends. It’s not clear whether people believe that drinking Corona beer may help cause or cure the illness. However, a representative for Constellation Brands—the company that owns Corona—has spoken to news outlets to clear the brand’s name from any association with the virus.

“We believe that consumers, by and large, understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our beer/business,” a spokesperson explained to CBS on January 30.

Related: The Ultimate List Of Beers To Have On Braai Day

Coronavirus can be cured by eating garlic

People have been falsely spreading information that garlic may help cure the coronavirus, according to a Tweet from Dr. Gia Sison.

This is completely false. In response to this myth, the WHO has taken to social media to clear up the misconception by Tweeting, “Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from 2019-nCoV.”

You can get the coronavirus from mail or packages

Some consumers are concerned that their Asian-made products may be contaminated with coronavirus. However, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says you likely have nothing to worry about.

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods.” the CDC writes on its website.

A case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in the Western Cape & KZN

There have been several rumours that coronavirus has hit South Africa and especially the Western Cape. According to the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD)’s website, “we wish to categorically refute these claims and confirm that, to date, there is no case of coronavirus in South Africa. The WHO-AFRO has announced that, to date, 71 samples have been received by our National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) from all over Africa and all these specimens have tested negative for coronavirus.”

For more information on the coronavirus, visit the NICD website.

This article originally appeared on menshealth.com

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