Coronavirus Advisory: Seven common myths about COVID-19, sponsored by Ochsner Baton Rouge

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With different reports coming out every day on coronavirus (COVID-19), it is easy to be confused by myths. Below, we examine seven of the most common myths surrounding COVID-19.

Myth: If I get the flu or pneumonia vaccine, I will be more protected from COVID-19.
Reality: While you should get these vaccines to protect yourself against the flu and respiratory illnesses, these vaccines will not provide protection against contracting COVID-19. Researchers are in the process of developing a vaccine for COVID-19, but this will likely take some time to approve. In the meantime, continue to use proper hygiene by washing your hands frequently, sanitizing commonly used objects and coughing or sneezing into tissue that is immediately thrown away.

Myth: Antibiotics can prevent me from catching COVID-19.
Reality: Antibiotics will not help prevent any type of virus, including COVID-19. Antibiotics only work against the fight of bacteria—not viruses.

Myth: I need to buy a face mask to protect myself.
Reality: A mask is a good way to help prevent the spread of your germs and the virus when you sneeze or cough. However, if you are not sick, wearing a mask will most likely not protect you from contracting a virus or other sickness. Additionally, most people do not know how to wear masks properly and end up touching their faces more, which can increase your chances of contracting the virus. The best thing to do is to wash your hands thoroughly. For best handwashing techniques, follow the CDC’s guide.

Myth: I shouldn’t get letters or packages from China because it may have COVID-19 on it.
Reality: You can still receive packages and letters without worrying that you may contract COVID-19. According to the CDC, while it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching an object that has the virus on it and touching your eyes, nose or mouth, it is not thought to be the main way the virus is spread.

5Myth: Only elderly people are affected by COVID-19. I don’t need to worry about my child catching it.
Reality: The virus can make anyone sick, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. While individuals who are elderly, have pre-existing conditions and are immunocompromised are the most at risk, children can still catch COVID-19. Take all the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family by following the CDC’s recommendation for prevention.

Myth: COVID-19 will stop spreading in warmer temperature.
Reality: While certain viruses like the flu do tend to decrease in infection rate during the summer months, we should not assume COVID-19 will do the same.

Myth: I should worry about pets or other animals contracting COVID-19.
Reality: COVID-19 is believed to have started from an animal source in China. However, the CDC reports there is no evidence to show that pets and animals in the United States might be a source of infection or spread COVID-19. However, it is still best practices to wash your hands after being around animals.

Continue to take all necessary steps to keep yourself safe from viruses, and learn more about coronavirus updates.

If you are experiencing mild or severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing, contact your provider’s office for guidance or see a provider from home with an Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual visit.

For other coronavirus information, visit