What’s True and What’s False: Coronavirus Fact Check

Daytona Everett

Here are some of the most common coronavirus questions: 

Can COVID-19 be spread through food?

“Directly through food, no,” Euthym Kontaxis, MD for Tennity Emergency Department at Eisenhower Health, said. “But the process of eating can be exposure.”

The CDC reports “currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food but before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water.”

Does warm weather kill the virus?

“Unfortunately not,” Kontaxis said. “We were hoping that would be the case but it doesn’t seem to have an effect.”

The Coachella Valley has reached record temperatures alongside record-breaking case counts.

The CDC reports “it is not yet known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the ones that cause the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to get these viruses during other months.”

Can you get the virus from mail, packages or products?

The virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces but the CDC reports it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging.

People can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

“The mail is the absolute lowest way to catch COVID,” Kontaxis said in connection to a coronavirus risk chart created by the Texas Medical Association.

Can animals spread the virus?

“I think in general we’re not sure about all animals but we don’t think common household pets spread the virus,” Kontaxis said.

According to the CDC, based on the limited information available to date, “the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low but a small number of animals have tested positive for COVID-19.”

Do cleaning products kill the coronavirus?

“Yes,” Kontaxis said. “We’re very confident that the virus is contained that way.”

He said they clean the hospital with disinfecting products constantly.

According to the CDC website, the most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

Are kid’s symptoms different than adult’s?

“Children can be carriers of the illness with low symptoms,” Kontaxis said. “But remember that a lot of kids have been staying home so they’re obviously not in contact with other kids.”

He said if the kids return to school, things could likely change.

The CDC reports kid’s symptoms can be similar to adults but COVID-19 looks different for everybody.

Can you get it again if you have antibodies?

“We are finding that most people aren’t getting reinfected and the people that are antibody positive seem to be doing very well and safe,” Kontaxis said.

The World Health Organization said it’s possible. WHO is conducting studies on this right now which will largely affect vaccine development.

Does it cause permanent damage?

“I know the fatigue is a big issue. It seems like the taste and smell issues come back. I think there can be permanent lung scarring,” Kontaxis said. “Injuries to different organ systems, there are some neurologic compromises that people are concerned about. We really won’t know for years what the long term consequences of COVID are.”

Is it spreading faster and is it getting less severe?

“I think we’re seeing a combination of just a large number of people being exposed to it,” Kontaxis said. “But we’re also not seeing as many critically ill patients as we did at the beginning.”

He said the elderly homes are being more proactive with safety measures than in the beginning of the outbreak.

Do vitamins help prevent it?

“Zinc, 50 mg, twice a day and Vitamin C are supposed to be helpful and I think a lot of people swear by it,” Kontaxis said.

Nothing has been proven to fully prevent the virus yet.

Can masks make you sick?

“No, unless you’re claustrophobic,” Kontaxis said.

For people with health issues sparked from masks, he recommends self-isolation to ensure exposure is limited.

What’s the most-asked question?

“When is this going to end,” Kontaxis said.

His answer: “When it’s over.”

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