COVID-19: Myth or Fact?

There is a lot of confusing information around COVID-19 & the novel coronavirus circulating on the Internet & social media forums. In this edition, we separate the myths from the facts.

Consuming or vaping products containing cannabidiol (CBD) will boost your immune system and help prevent COVID-19.

Myth.

CBD use does not boost one’s immune system. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that CBD use can impair immune function.


Gargling or spraying saltwater, vinegar, and/or alcohol into the back of the throat will prevent COVID-19 infections or kill the novel coronavirus.

Myth.

There is no evidence to suggest that gargling any substance will reduce COVID-19 infections.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest any GRAS ingredients like salt, vinegar, or human-consumption approved liquors will stop the novel coronavirus in cleaning products either.


Homemade soap infused with essential oils can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Fact.

Proper handwashing with any type of body-safe soap will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the essentials oils do not contribute to the efficacy of the soap (although they do smell nice). 


Only antibacterial soaps will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Myth.

COVID-19 infections are caused by the novel coronavirus, not bacteria. Any body-safe soap paired with proper handwashing will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


I should wash my fruits and vegetables with detergents or soaps.

Myth.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) do NOT advise washing produce with detergents or soaps as these could be absorbed by or linger on the produce. Soaps and detergents have neither been approved nor labeled by the FDA for washing food and/or for consumption (1,2). 
 
Furthermore, at this point the FDA, USDA, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and Food Standards Australia New Zealand agree that NO evidence exists to suggest that COVID-19 infections can be spread via food, the consumption of food, or food packaging coming from food manufacturers (12345). 
Kernel of Truth.
The FDA and USDA both recommend washing fruits and vegetables under running water or in conjunction with scrubbing produce with a clean brush to remove superficial dirt before consuming raw produce (1,2). 
 
Learn more about COVID19 and food safety.

Taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D, or any other supplement will prevent COVID-19.
Myth.

There is no evidence to support that taking any supplement will prevent COVID-19 infections.

Kernel of Truth.

Evidence supports that vitamins and micronutrients play an essential role in our immune system function (1,2,3).Subscribe for weekly updates_ go.msu.edu/cris-connectTypically, a balanced diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables provides the nutrients our immune system and other bodily systems need to function correctly.
 
If you suspect you may have a vitamin deficiency, it’s best to consult a state-licensed and credentialed medical professional.
 
If you choose to take vitamin supplements, it’s important to source supplements from credible manufacturers and ensure you take them properly (1,2,3). If you take supplements improperly, they can cause harm, and it’s best to avoid taking on additional risks that could require medical assistance during this time (1,2).


It’s safe to use chlorine pool cleaners to disinfect my home.

Myth. 

Chlorine-based pool cleaners are designed to kill germs that live in a high volume of water, like in pools and hot tubs. This means that the chlorine-based pool cleaners are typically highly potent and are dissolved in gallons of water before being used to disinfect thousands of gallons of water (e.g., pool or hot tub).
 
Products designed for home disinfecting purposes, like liquid bleach, only require small amounts of water for sufficient dilution. Typically, one cup of water adequately dilutes one teaspoon of liquid bleach to make a safe, effective disinfectant.
 
Due to the vastly different dilution needs between chlorine-based pool cleaners and home disinfecting products like bleach, it’s difficult and potentially dangerous to dilute pool cleaning products into a solution that would be safe for your home and your health.
 
Learn how to make a safe, disinfecting bleach solution at go.msu.edu/bleach


If I am feeling ill and suspect I have contracted or come into contact with someone who has a COVID-19, I should take chloroquine phosphate marketed for fish or veterinary use.

Myth.

Products marketed for fish or veterinary use have NOT been tested for human use and are not formulated for human consumption as a medication.
 
Only take medications prescribed or recommended to you by a state-licensed and credentialed medical professional.
 
If you are ill and suspect you have COVID-19, you should follow the protocols outlined by the U.S. CDC.


If I am feeling ill and suspect I have contracted COVID-19, I should take leftover antibiotics or source antibiotics from online marketplaces.

Myth.

Any prescription medication like antibiotics should only be taken under the advisement and supervision of a state-licensed and credentialed medical professional.
 
Additionally, it’s unsafe to take medications, especially medications that require a prescription, sourced from online marketplaces. 
 
If you are ill and suspect you have COVID-19, you should follow the protocols outlined by the U.S. CDC. 


Using a blow dryer to blow hot air into my nostrils will kill the novel coronavirus.

Myth.

There is no evidence to support that a blow dryer or any high heat applied to the body will kill the novel coronavirus without causing severe harm to the body.

Kernel of truth.

There is evidence to suggest that heat can kill viruses in the coronavirus family (although this hasn’t been confirmed for the current novel coronavirus). However, the minimum temperature needed to kill a virus in the coronavirus family is 133ºF for more than 15 minutes or 149ºF for more than 3 minutes (1,2). Applying heat to the body at or above 133ºF for the required time would cause grievous bodily harm.


For more novel coronavirus myths and facts visit:

 

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