As news of the spread of COVID-19 floods in through your TV, phone and friends it can be difficult to sort through what information is true and what isn’t. We’ve fact checked some of the most common claims we’ve seen online this month. Have you seen others you are wondering about? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check them and add them to this story.
Someone petting your dog could pass the virus on to you
Maybe. Buzzfeed News asked vet Dan Smith and he said there isn’t a clear answer.
“As of now the research suggests that the virus lives longer on nonporous surfaces, like metal, than other surfaces, such as pet hair. If that’s the case, then pet hair should be lower on the list of likely transmission surfaces. But there’s always a chance,” he said.
He said he’s recommending to his patients it would be safer to not allow strangers to pet your dog right now.
It’s too cold in Sun Peaks for the virus to survive
False. It isn’t immediately clear how temperatures will affect the spread of COVID-19 but if it’s anything like the flu it will spread easier in a cold, dry climate.
According to the World Health Organization it can be transmitted in all areas and temperatures
Drinking water pushes the virus into your stomach, where stomach acid can kill it
False. There is no scientific evidence which supports this claim. Being hydrated is good for your immune system and general health but keeping your mouth and throat moist will not protect you from the virus, despite what viral Facebook posts suggest.
Dr. Susan Wootton, an infectious disease expert, told U.S. journalists no data exists to support this claim.
Drinking hot water or other hot drinks or gargling salt water will kill the virus
False. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said gargling salty or warm water may soothe a sore throat, but no evidence supports claims it will kill virus.
Wearing medical or ski masks will prevent the spread
False. N95 masks, which you may remember people using during wildfire season, are used to protect health care workers. To be effective they must be seal tested and be removed in a specific sequence. Experts are also asking people not to buy masks and create a shortage for health care workers who need them.
There is also no evidence wearing a ski mask or buff will protect wearer’s from contracting or spreading the virus.
Children can’t get the virus
False. According to the Centers for Disease Control children are not at a higher risk than adults but they can still contract the virus. The symptoms are the same in children and adults, however so far children have presented more mild cases.
You can prevent the virus by eating raw garlic or other foods
False. According to the British Dietetic Association said there is no convincing evidence that taking supplements or specific foods will improve disease fighting. They strongly recommended not taking food or supplements advertised as immune-boosting in an attempt to protect yourself from the virus, including eating garlic or taking herbal remedies.