Dialog Box

Rare Cancers Australia

Fact or Fiction

Can coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) only survive in colder climates, and does it stop being transmitted when the weather is warmer?  

With the limited evidence we currently have, it appears that the coronavirus can be transmitted in both cold weather and hot, humid weather. This means that regardless of the climate, you need to adopt the standard hygiene precautions (such as regular handwashing, coughing into your elbow), and align with your government’s recommendations concerning social distancing.

Does having a hot bath or drinking warm liquid prevent you from catching coronavirus?  

A hot bath or drink will not prevent you from catching coronavirus. Your normal body temperature generally remains between 36.0°C and 37.5°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or drinks. The best way to protect yourself is frequent handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel (>60% alcohol) to eliminate any viruses from your hands’ surfaces.

Can you catch coronavirus (COVID-19) from mosquitos?  

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily via droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing, or through oral or nasal discharge. To date, there has been no information or evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus can be carried or transmitted via mosquitos.  

Can hand dryers or UV lamps kill coronavirus?

Hand dryers and UV lamps do not kill coronavirus, and should not be used to heat up or sterilize hands or other areas of skin. UV lamps especially can cause skin irritation. Only after you’ve cleaned your hands with soap and water should you dry them well using either a hand dryer, paper towel, or in the family home, a clean cloth towel. 

What do thermal scanners detect?

Thermal scanners detect fevers (temperature >37.5°C) in people who are unwell because of an infection – whether with coronavirus or another illness. However, due to the 2-10 day lag between a person’s initial infection and their first unwell symptoms, a thermal scanner cannot detect those who are infected but have no fever or symptoms.

Can spraying alcohol or chlorine over your body kill coronavirus? 

No, spraying alcohol or chlorine over yourself will not kill viruses already within your body, and may be harmful to your eyes, mouth and skin. You can use alcohol and chlorine spray to clean and disinfect surfaces thoroughly, however it’s important that use them under appropriate recommendations.

Do vaccines against pneumococcal or influenza protect you against coronavirus?

Vaccines for pneumococcal and influenza will not protect against COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) because they are all different viruses. Currently, there is no vaccine for coronavirus, however many researchers worldwide are working hard to develop one as soon as possible.  

It’s important at this time particularly, though, to stay up-to-date with vaccines, particularly those against respiratory illnesses (like influenza and pneumococcal) to protect your health going into Winter, and reduce the extra burden on our healthcare system during this pandemic.  

Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline or gargling warm water in your throat help prevent infection with coronavirus?  

No, there is no good evidence that regular nose rinses or throat gargles will protect against coronavirus infection or prevent other respiratory infections. 

Can eating garlic or diffusing essential oils prevent infection with coronavirus?

There is no evidence showing that eating garlic or using essential oils can protect or cure you from viral infections, respiratory illnesses or other diseases, and no evidence to show that either will reduce the length of illness in these cases.   

Does coronavirus only affect the elderly, or are young people also susceptible?

People of all ages can be infected by coronavirus. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma) are more vulnerable to becoming severely unwell with the virus, and requiring hospitalisation. However statistics are emerging showing that young people can be adversely affected, and require hospitalisation too sometimes. This, and the fact that young people can carry it and transmit it to more vulnerable members of our community, are good reasons why it’s important to be vigilant about hand hygiene and take appropriate social distancing precautions. 

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the coronavirus?

No, antibiotics only treat bacteria, not viruses, and COVID-19 is caused by a virus. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. Sometimes in severe cases in hospital, doctors might use antibiotics as well to treat any possible bacterial co-infection.  

Are there any specific medicines available to prevent or treat coronavirus? What about chloroquine? 

To date, there are no known effective treatments for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Chloroquine showed some mild effectiveness in one trial, but then these results weren’t replicated in another study. It is such a new virus that the data and expertise is limited, but researchers are working hard to rectify that, and there will be clinical trials starting as soon as possible. In the meantime, those who are very unwell with coronavirus should present to hospital (calling ahead to allow them to prepare) so they can be treated with appropriate supportive care.

Guidelines based on WHO recommendations, March 2020 

03 April 2020
Category: News
Tags: Coronavirus, Covid-19, facts, fiction, frequently asked questions,