The coronavirus is basically the only topic of discussion on the news, on social media and with your friends and family these days. There are so many different stories, theories, possible cures and preventative measures going around that make it hard to determine what is true and what is fake when it comes to the coronavirus. People are spending all day searching the internet for the truth about the virus out of fear and wanting to stay healthy during this time of uncertainty.
VALLEY is here to help you clear up some of the coronavirus myths out there when it comes to staying healthy.
Should you be wearing face masks?
Right now wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus a topic of confusion. Over the past few weeks, the CDC has highly recommend wearing a mask if you are already infected or showing symptoms to prevent you from spreading it to others. Regular surgical masks can’t block airborne viruses, but N95 masks can block the virus from entering your body and prevent it from exiting. These masks are being reserved to help protect healthcare professionals treating coronavirus patients in hospitals at this time.
This past week, however, the CDC announced new guidelines, recommending that all Americans wear a cloth mask when in public. With many infected individuals not showing symptoms of the virus, there is a need for everyone to wear a mask in case someone is unknowingly spreading the coronavirus. Read more about universal masking here.
How far can the coronavirus travel in the air?
Most CDC and healthcare professionals agree that the coronavirus can travel up to six feet once airborne. It spreads from person to person through tiny droplets from the nose or mouth that come from coughing, sneezing or breathing. If you are within six feet of an infected person, it is likely that these droplets could enter your airways and infect you, too. This is why social distancing and staying six feet apart from others is so important.
Can drinking a lot of water flush out the virus?
A preventative measure that has been going around on social media is that drinking a lot of water often can flush out the virus if it has gotten into your throat or mouth. The myth says that if you drink water every 15 minutes, the virus will be flushed down to your stomach where your stomach acid will kill it. According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that this is true or that it will prevent you from getting infected with the coronavirus.
Washing Your Hands vs. Hand Sanitizer
There is a lot of confusion as to whether you should be washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, and which is more effective at killing the coronavirus. The alcohol in hand sanitizer kills viruses, but the hand sanitizer must be at least 60% alcohol in order to kill most viruses. Even with at least 60% alcohol, hand sanitizer can’t kill everything. Professionals say that washing your hands with soap and warm water is more effective than hand sanitizers at killing and removing viruses. However, hand sanitizer can still help kill viruses lingering on your hands in moments when soap and warm water aren’t available.
Here a VALLEY, we hope that you are staying healthy and safe during this global health crisis.