Separate coronavirus fact from fiction
FACT: You can help stop the spread.
Wesley Roberts Published: 3/18/2020
You have heard and read a lot about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory condition caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is part of the same large virus family that causes the common cold. However, the newest coronavirus had led to a pandemic, and as with any crisis, there are facts and there are myths. Baptist Health experts break them down.
MYTH: Children are more susceptible to COVID-19.
Based on the evidence available, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. In fact, adults make up most of the known cases today. The CDC is updating a Risk Assessment page to learn more about who is most at risk for health problems if they have COVID-19. Children can spread the infection to other high risk individuals, even if they're not showing symptoms.
FACT: WHO let the dogs out?
There’s no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Scientists concluded that cats and dogs can test positive for low levels of the virus if they catch it from their owners, but pets can’t get sick from the virus.
MYTH: I can’t spread the virus; I don’t have symptoms.
People are most contagious when they have the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) but some spread might be possible before people even show symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The virus spreads primarily from person-to-person from those who are within about 6 feet of one another,” said Mobeen Rathore, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”
MYTH: I’m healthy but I should still wear a mask.
According to the CDC, “Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and don’t prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.” Facemasks help prevent patients from spreading the virus but, if you’re healthy, you don’t need to wear one.
Facemasks are needed for health care professionals.
FACT: Baptist Health is ready!
Brett McClung, president and CEO of Baptist Health, wrote to our community, “Year-round we drill, refine our processes, prepare, test, and then prepare some more. We are in a continual state of readiness for public health emergencies.” Read more from McClung.