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Exploring Coronavirus Myths and Facts


March 17, 2020
Categories: Safety, Health, Travel Tips

Coronavirus has captured the world’s attention as its rapid spread has sent countries into unprecedented territory surrounding containment and safety measures.

With COVID-19 dominating headlines, it can be hard to make sense of what’s accurate. Sifting through travel advisories, symptom checkers and breaking news stories can quickly become overwhelming and even prompt anxiety.

According to Google Trends, search interest in coronavirus topics is high around the world. As the breakout spreads, Google Trends reveals people want to know how to prepare and how to protect themselves.

With so much information available, knowing what’s reliable can be hard, so we asked our experts for their advice on a few coronavirus myths to explore.

Myth 1: Isolation And Quarantine Mean The Same Thing

The two terms are interchangeable, right? Wrong.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term isolation refers to the separation of a person or group of people who are reasonably believed to be infected and could potentially infect people.

The term quarantine refers to the separation of a person or group of people who are reasonably believed to have been exposed but are not yet symptomatic and may not have the virus.

Myth 2: If You Are Sick, Go To The Doctor First

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or you have symptoms, the CDC recommends using a telehealth service or calling your health care provider first. According to the CDC, once you speak to a health care provider, be sure to provide information about any symptoms you might have and let them know you think you have COVID-19.

Global Rescue TotalCareSM members have immediate access to board-certified, licensed doctors for real-time video consultations and treatment.

After speaking with a health care provider, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action to get you the care you need. Calling ahead also gives your health care provider the ability to take steps to ensure other patients are not at risk for getting infected or exposed.

Myth 3: Only Older People Are At Risk For Coronavirus

The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) note older individuals and those with certain chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Though according to WHO, people of all ages can become infected with coronavirus. Even if you’re not at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19, be sure to take steps to protect yourself and others around you. You can start by washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Myth 4: Wearing A Face Mask Will Protect You From COVID-19

According to a JAMA Network article, face masks should be used if you have symptoms of respiratory infection. Face masks should also be worn if you’re a health care worker or taking care of someone with a respiratory infection. If you do need to wear a mask, make sure you understand how to use it and which type of medical mask is right for you.

Myth 5: You Can Catch COVID-19 From Your Pet

According to WHO, there’s currently no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19. To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with coronavirus. The CDC does recommend avoiding contact with pets and other animals like you would with other humans if you are sick with COVID-19.

Myth 6: Antibiotics Can Treat Coronavirus

Antibiotics are effective for treating bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is a virus, which comes from the same family of viruses that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Both the CDC and a recent PubMed publication state there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 and no vaccine is currently available.

Concerned About Coronavirus?

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, don’t count on a slowdown in media coverage. If that seems daunting, Global Rescue can help.

Our in-house experts are closely tracking COVID-19 developments, analyzing hundreds of sources daily. To stay informed, sign up for our daily alerts to get updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Global Rescue TotalCare memberships include immediate access to a team of medical experts for real-time video consultations and treatment, including prescriptions, labs and imaging, when medically indicated, all without having to go to a hospital.


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