Debunking Coronavirus Myths: What’s the Truth?

Debunking Coronavirus Myths: What's the Truth?
Image from Pixabay

Thumbnail image from Pixabay

By Rebecca Fending

The current pandemic surrounding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has spurred unease in terms of how it’s contracted, who can contract it, and symptom details. However, each of these topics has been expanded upon in ways that discredit the virus while simultaneously elevating general concern. So, what’s true and what’s a myth about corona? Here are some of the most talked-about virus rumors and their truth:

Can my pets contract COVID-19?

In short, your pets are pretty safe from the coronavirus. There is currently no evidence that states that cats, dogs, or anything in between can either contract or spread the virus. There have been cases of perceived coronavirus in both cats and dogs, however, experts believe that this is due to the human suggestion. According to the American Kennel Club, our “novel coronavirus” is not the same strain of coronavirus that could affect animals. For many animals, they tend to have springtime allergies or general illnesses just as humans do. This means that your furry friend may exhibit what you perceive to be “corona symptoms” when in reality it’s far more likely that they’re ill with a typical canine or feline illness or seasonal allergies.

Though, you can never be too safe when it comes to illnesses for humans and animals. The risk is low for Fido contracting coronavirus, but not impossible. Be sure to wash your hands before and after petting your furry companion and be sure to keep any potentially infected items out of their reach.

Can you contract COVID-19 more than once?

Reportedly, there have been separate cases in which two patients seemed to contract COVID-19 for a second time. In both cases, the patients were admitted into medical care for virus symptoms and later discharged after their symptoms cleared. However, about a month afterwards, they both were admitted again with the same symptoms as before.

What does this mean? According to the New York Times’ interview with Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, the patients had more than likely not contracted the illness twice. Instead, Krammer suggests that the patients were discharged from medical care prematurely and the illness progressed to a point of needing medical attention once again.

This suggests that the virus is able to cling to its victims for extended periods of time, manifesting with severity and then dwindling down to a more mild state. Those sick or caring for those who are infected should be extremely careful in terms of self-care and excursions in public so as not to continually spread the illness.

Everyone has the same symptoms, right?

Wrong, COVID-19 symptoms manifest differently from person to person. While the general symptoms of the virus are chest pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, congestion, etc., other patients have come forward about their differing symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus.

Twitter user Julia Bascaglia created a twitter thread on March 20 that described her symptoms day by day. During this time she had been staying in Italy, a global hotspot for COVID-19. She explains that the first day (Feb. 29) she felt symptoms more similar to the flu, including both a fever and chills. As her symptoms progressed, Bascaglia details that she didn’t have the dry “unproductive cough” that was originally listed as a tell-tale symptom of the virus. Instead, she experienced an overproduction of phlegm and a wildly productive cough. Bascaglia was tested two weeks after the first sign of the virus and tested positive for COVID-19. At the point she was tested, she claims to not have been experiencing symptoms any longer.

Bascaglia’s experience shows that not only can your symptoms be entirely different than the listed ones on the CDC’s website, but you can still be positive for the illness after your symptoms subside. If you or a loved one believes they may have the coronavirus, be sure to quarantine yourselves for at least 14 days after the disappearance of your symptoms.

Another symptom has to do with the mental difficulty many people are facing during this time of quarantine as it has manifested as depression. The inability to visit with friends, family or even participate in one’s expected daily activities can take a toll. If you’re looking for an online resource in managing your depression during this time, click here to learn how to better your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many myths and speculations surrounding the coronavirus to date. It’s important to do your own research to stay up-to-date on the current pandemic status so as to protect yourself, your house, and the general public. Be sure to visit your doctor if you exhibit any symptoms that are of concern to you or align closely with the characteristics of the coronavirus.


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