The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the covid-19 disease, is on the rise in the world – something few may have missed. And since we don’t know much about this new virus yet, it is easy to spread rumor – not least in groups on Facebook and other social media.
And these false claims can have very negative effects if people may begin to believe that certain groups are immune to the virus even though they are not, or believe that the virus is a chemical weapon produced by a particular country to do harm.
Therefore, we want to list some of the myths, and the conspiracy theories, that you should know, and not spread.
Myth 1: Covid-19 is no more dangerous than a common flu
So far, it is difficult to compare an entirely new disease with one that circulates every year. But we can say that they are similar to each other as both of a proportion of the sick can cause very serious illness.
The problem with covid-19 is that it will affect a significant number of the population as it begins to spread since no one in the population has been able to develop immunity to this virus yet. Thus, more people will become ill, and more will need medical care, which can be a big problem for many countries.
Since the regular seasonal flu recurs year after year and partly circulates in society for a long time, there is protection against many different types of influenza in many populations.
Myth 2: The coronavirus is a way to darken 5G radiation damage
5G is the subsequent type of mobile network after 3G and 4G, and it has received harsh criticism from various parts of the world as many are concerned about the new type of radiation. Among other things, there are several groups on Facebook that are against 5G, where you have spread Youtube videos and fake news about the launch of 5G in Wuhan, China, just weeks before the virus broke out.
Conspiracy theory thus assumes that the new corona center would be a way to darken health problems that emerged as a result of 5G radiation – but according to studies done, there is no evidence that 5G radiation causes any diseases.
Myth 3: The virus is a biological weapon from the USA / China
That the virus was created in a laboratory is a myth that has been circulated on several platforms online, but also spread through public figures such as US Senator Tom Cotton.
One of the reasons is that there is a large laboratory in Wuhan where research is done on dangerous pathogens such as the new virus.
But most experts have gone out and tried to stifle this myth, saying that the virus was not created by humans. There is nothing in the virus’s genome sequence to indicate that it is manufactured. The strongest theory today is that the virus is infected from animal to human, starting with an animal market in Wuhan.
Myth 4: The death toll darkens – in fact, hundreds of thousands have died
On several US fake news sites, one can read that China’s data on how many who died in covid-19 are false. Among other things, it says that millions of people would be locked up in the country and dead bodies are on the streets and that Wuhan’s all hospitals would have collapsed.
And certainly one can question the credibility of the Chinese authorities, but that this is so bad is simply not true. Here you will find statistics from WHO and daily reports on how many people have fallen and died in which countries.
Myth 5: Only the elderly die
Most people who are healthy and relatively young will probably not be seriously ill from the coronavirus – but the risk is more likely to be affected by breathing difficulties than with the usual flu and there are more risk groups. Among other things, healthcare providers, who are more exposed to the virus.
Therefore, it is important that even young people take the infection seriously and act accordingly, by reporting all symptoms and following guidelines on quarantine and management.
Children do not appear to be seriously ill from the virus, but people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease and high blood pressure are also at risk, regardless of age.
Myth 6: Mouthguard prevents spread
Usually around 20-40 packages are sold per day, but around 550 were sold at the end of January.
The mouthguards are not intended to protect against airborne viruses, but because you who use them should not infect another person.
There is no scientific evidence that they limit infection, but the effect can even be reversed.
Viruses can accumulate in the mouth guard, and when you take off and on the protection the virus can be transmitted to the hands and thus spread further. It is important to be able to handle the oral protection properly.
Myth 7: Within a few months there is a vaccine
Researchers were quick to conclude that within a few months, there will be a vaccine against the coronavirus. But that a vaccine has been developed is not the same as being free to start vaccinating people with.
Now we are at the stage where animal testing is carried out in several different laboratories in the world, and according to some tests on humans will start around April. But there are still many necessary tests left before you can roll out a finished, safe vaccine – where you know all the side effects.
Myth 8: Our pets can get sick in covid-19
Well. The virus is believed to have spread from animals to humans, so the idea that animals can become infected is not entirely unreasonable. However, there is no evidence that the virus can infect dogs and cats, according to WHO. A microbiologist at the Public Health Institute says there is no information that 2019.nCoV infects pets but at present, we know too little about the new coronavirus and therefore WHO calls for generally good hand hygiene in contact with animals.
The new virus has not been found in any animal species yet, and a common cold or winter sickness cannot infect our pets. However, some infections, such as tuberculosis and multi-resistant staphylococci, MRSA, can be transmitted from humans to animals.
Myth 9: The virus was created in the UK
On Twitter, there have been reports that the new coronavirus is not at all new, when a British research institute applied for a patent for it already in 2015.
In fact, there are quite a few different types of coronavirus, and only seven of them can infect people. And it is a patent that allows you to cure and prevent disease in birds.
It has thus become a misconception, which has spread and is based on the belief that there was only one type of coronavirus.
Myth 10: The virus started because Chinese eat bats
This myth got a boost after some Youtube movies went viral, where some Chinese influencers are eating bats.
But these films do not even come from China, but from an island in the Pacific, Palau, where these influncers, have been and test the local delicacy. But it is not a particularly popular right in China, and especially not in Wuhan.
This myth has started to spread something probably to spice up the myth that “Chinese eat such strange things.