Coronavirus myths unraveled: Separating COVID-19 facts from fiction


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Apr 21, 2020

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, but there is a lot of misinformation about how it’s spread, how to treat coronavirus symptoms and how to protect yourself. It can be challenging to know where to go for information you can trust to keep you and your family well.

The most effective way to stay safe is to keep following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) by practicing social distancing, making sure you clean your hands thoroughly, wearing protective gear when advised and avoiding touching your eyes, mouth and nose. 

This new normal that we’re all getting used to remains the best advice to help keep you from getting the coronavirus or potentially spreading it to others. 

Now, let’s separate fact from fiction when it comes to COVID-19.

Do warmer temperatures prevent COVID-19?

No, warmer temperatures do not appear to prevent the likelihood of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Plenty of countries with weather at or above 77°Fahrenheit/25°Celsius have reported cases of COVID-19, so sunny or hot weather will not protect you against the virus. 

Aren’t only older people at risk for COVID-19?

Older people and those with existing chronic health conditions appear to be at risk for more severe complications. However, anyone is susceptible to catching the virus. Regardless of your age, you should be following proper safety and hygiene guidelines to protect yourself.

Will you have to battle coronavirus symptoms for life?

Fortunately, most people who survive COVID-19 will not have to manage coronavirus symptoms again for the rest of their lives. While there are reports of some re-occurrences of the disease, most people only have to battle COVID-19 once and likely will not get it again after they recover.

Related: What to do if you think you have COVID-19

If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, does that mean you don’t have COVID-19? 

No, holding your breath does not prove whether or not you have coronavirus. Right now, a laboratory test is the only way to determine if you have the virus that produces COVID-19.

Can drinking alcohol protect you from COVID-19?

Alcohol consumption does not protect you from coronavirus. In fact, drinking in excess can increase your risk of developing health problems, which could make you more susceptible to COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Will cold weather and snow kill coronavirus?

Just like hot temperatures don’t kill coronavirus, neither do cold temperatures. The human body typically maintains a fairly consistent temperature, so regardless of the external temperatures, hot or cold, you can still experience coronavirus symptoms.

Can a hot bath prevent COVID-19?

A hot bath is good for soothing aches and pains, and even just relaxing — which is important during this time of great uncertainty — but it will have no impact on whether or not you catch the coronavirus.

Related: How to cope with anxiety about coronavirus

Do mosquitos transmit the coronavirus?

As of right now, there is no evidence to suggest that a mosquito bite can transmit the coronavirus. It is a respiratory virus spread from person to person and through respiratory droplets that travel when you cough, sneeze or speak.

Should you spray alcohol or chlorine on your body to kill the coronavirus?

Alcohol and chlorine sprays can be effective at disinfecting surfaces when used properly; however, they will not help protect you against COVID-19. In fact, spraying these kinds of chemicals can be potentially harmful to your body, particularly your eyes and mouth.

Instead, continue washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and follow the CDC’s guidelines for how to clean and disinfect your home.

Can antibiotics help?

Antibiotics are medicines that help treat bacterial infections like strep throat or urinary tract infections — but they cannot treat viruses. If you have heard that some people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 received antibiotics, it is likely they had a bacterial co-infection.

Aren’t there already some prescription medications available that can help treat the coronavirus?

As of right now, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19. For patients who contract the virus, the current course of care involves treating the coronavirus symptoms, which are typically mild and can be managed at home. Sometimes, hospital care may be necessary if the symptoms become too severe or the patient is high-risk.

However, there is good news! Researchers are moving rapidly to accelerate clinical trials to help find a treatment for COVID-19.

It’s clear that there are a lot of questions and myths circulating about the coronavirus. The reality is this: the current safety measures that have been put in place are the best ways to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So, make sure you’re keeping up with the latest guidelines and resources to help prevent getting sick

To learn more about COVID-19, visit

Note: This information was sourced from the World Health Organization.

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