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Concerned about Coronavirus? Looking for accurate information? In todays Examiner, Eamonn deals with some of the myths around COVID-19

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Myth busters


This week I bust some myths around coronavirus.


Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?

No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself, frequently wash them with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub.


How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?

It takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected with coronavirus to become sick and develop a fever, so thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever.


Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?

No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body.


Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?

UV lamps should not be used to steralise the skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.


Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?

Yes, it is safe. Coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.


Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.


Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV.


Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline prevents coronavirus or any virus. 


Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence it helps prevent coronavirus.


Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 


Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.


Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat coronavirus. Those infected with the virus may receive treatment to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive hospital care.


Thanks to WHO for advice for this article. Check Coronavirus advice on the WHO website for more comprehensive information.

For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).

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