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Dispelling the myths of COVID-19

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Editor's note: As the facts and situation around COVID-19 (commonly known as novel coronavirus) continue to evolve, Meredith Burt, RN, Infection Preventionist at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, will provide updates to answer commonly-asked questions.

By Meredith Burt

Myth: Mosquitoes can cause COVID-19.

Fact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have said mosquitoes don't spread coronavirus. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently studying this to make sure this is not a way that coronavirus is spread.

Myth: If you have coronavirus, "you'll know."

Fact: COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms, many of which appear in other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. Specifically, common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and rarer symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a runny nose. In severe cases, the disease can progress into a serious pneumonia-like illness — some infected people may show no symptoms at all.

Myth: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you don't have coronavirus.

Fact: There is no do-at-home test for coronavirus.

Myth: If you don't have hand sanitizer, you're going to get coronavirus.

Fact: The CDC explains that washing your hands with regular soap and water is far more effective than a squirt of hand sanitizer.

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Myth: Introducing disinfecting to your body will kill COVID-19.

Fact: Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body will not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous. Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes. Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.


Elective procedure: A surgical, medical or dental procedure that is not urgent or immediately needed (like a knee replacement) is considered elective. Elective procedures are being canceled or delayed during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Daily Reminders:

- Wash your hands often and for 20 seconds duration

- Wipe down and disinfect often-used surfaces

- Cough into your elbow and cover your mouth

- Don't touch your face, including eyes, nose, and mouth

- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from another person


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