As the world continues to grapple with the spread of COVID-19, we often hear conflicting theories about its transmission, prevention, and even its treatment. With help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), CTEH scientific experts are debunking commonly-held myths.

Only older people and those with pre-existing conditions are affected by COVID-19.
False. As the WHO says, “people of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus.” However, evidence does suggest the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

COVID-19 cannot be transmitted in hot and humid climates and is killed by cold weather. 
False. According to the WHO, COVID-19 can be transmitted in all climates. No matter where they live or travel, individuals should follow proper protective measures by frequently washing their hands; avoiding touching their eyes, noses and mouths; and practicing social distancing.

Using hand dryers, taking hot baths, rinsing our noses with saline and spraying alcohol or chlorine on our bodies can prevent us from getting the new coronavirus.
False. The best way to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is by following the CDC’s recommendations to follow proper hygiene practices like frequently and thoroughly washing your hands.

The pneumonia vaccine provides protection against COVID-19.
False. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Scientists are working to develop one, but it is expected to take several months. In the meantime, the CDC and WHO recommend individuals receive regular immunizations such as the flu shot to protect their overall health.

Antibiotics can prevent and treat COVID-19.
False. Antibiotics only work against bacteria. As the WHO has said, “There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.”

Thermal scanners can detect whether someone is infected with COVID-19.
False. Thermal scanners and thermometers can detect whether someone has developed a fever, but that doesn’t mean the fever is COVID-19 related. Based on previous incubation periods, the CDC believes symptoms may “appear 2-14 days after exposure.”

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Any scientific or medical information included in this article is current as of the date of publication; however, public health knowledge of COVID-19 is rapidly developing. Readers are advised to monitor national, state and local public health agencies for current recommendations regarding any infectious disease.