Mar 19, 2020

Last month, we took some stories circulating on the internet about COVID-19 (which is now a pandemic according to the World Health Organization) and broke down the claims, juxtaposing them with facts.

[READ: Fact or fiction: Debunking misconceptions amid the coronavirus outbreak]

Unfortunately, despite the active campaigns of the Department of Health (DOH) and media organizations to spread the right information, unverified home cures and theories remain.

Here are a few more myths many may have encountered:


Myth: Eating bananas can help protect you from the virus

Photo courtesy of Eiliv Sonas Aceron/Unsplash

Fact: DOH clarified yesterday, Mar. 18 that there is no evidence that bananas can curb your chances of contracting COVID-19. This comes after presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed in a press conference that bananas can protect people from the disease. According to DOH, while bananas are good for the body, consuming it is not a way to fight the virus.

[READ: Know your banana: What makes Lakatan, Señiorita, and Saba different from one another]


Myth: Taking a hot bath can prevent you from catching COVID-19

Fact: WHO notes that our normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, whether we bathe in cold or hot water. In fact, bathing in hot water may pose potential risks, as you can get burned. Regular and proper hand washing still remains to be the best way to protect against the virus.


Myth: You can also get the virus through mosquito bites

Inquirer stock photo

Fact: There are no studies that link the virus to mosquito bites, according to WHO. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, which people can contract by coming into contact with droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


Myth: UV disinfection lamps and warm air hand dryers can kill the virus.

Fact: UV radiation can cause skin irritation, and as such is not recommended by WHO. There is also no proof that hand dryers can kill the virus.


Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can kill the virus

Fact: If the virus has already entered your body, it cannot be killed by alcohol or chlorine. You can use these to disinfect substances though. 


Myth: Drinking alcohol (like vodka) can kill the virus

alcohol bottles
Photo courtesy of Ibrahim Boran/Unsplash

Fact: There is no medical evidence that links the consumption of (drinking) alcohol to killing viruses. When experts recommend using alcohol to disinfect yourself—specifically your hands—they refer to 70 percent rubbing alcohol.


Myth: Vitamin C is all you need to boost your immunity against COVID-19

Fact: Better think twice before you bulk order or hoard Vitamin C. (Don’t hoard anything, period.) There is no clear consistent benefit to taking extra vitamin C to ward off viruses. In fact, in a story by The New York Times, it is even noted that “excessive vitamin C can be damaging to the stomach and kidneys.” Despite this, vitamin C is still important to our health. According to Lifescience, “it serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function.” We just can’t generalize it to mean it’ll keep us safe from the cold, flu, or the coronavirus.


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