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There’s a lot of information flying around about coronavirus at the moment, and not all of it from reliable sources. So, let us sort the fact from the fiction and set the record straight on some of the myths surrounding this new virus. Coronavirus Myths vs Facts V1.0.docx
Coronavirus only affects old people
People of any age can get coronavirus. Older people are more likely to become seriously ill if they get the virus, but this is also true of people who have a long-term medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease).
About 20% of the people hospitalised in New York are aged between 20 and 50
Coronavirus is no more dangerous than winter flu
Coronavirus is more dangerous than Winter Flu for three reasons :
- It transmits more easily as no one has natural immunity
- It causes hospitalisation in a much larger number of cases
- The death rate is between 10x and 20x winter flu
People can pass on coronavirus even if they don’t seem ill
It’s thought that people are most contagious (ie. most likely to pass the virus on) when their symptoms are at their worst.
It is possible that coronavirus can be passed on before people show any symptoms, but it’s not thought to be the main way it spreads.
It’s not safe to receive post and parcels.
Coronavirus lives for around 24-36 hours on hard surfaces but much less on rough and dry surfaces like cardboard. Parcels are not thought to be significant source or infection
We should all avoid public transport and places
UK government advice is now that we should all avoid gatherings of more than 2 people, should leave the house only if essential and should only go to work if that work is essential and cannot be done from home.
I should wear a face mask in public
It’s widely recommended that only people who have symptoms of coronavirus and those caring for them (like health workers) should wear face masks. There’s little evidence they offer much benefit to anyone else.
The best way to protect yourself is to try and prevent the spread of viruses by regularly washing your hands with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.