As the coronavirus spreads and fear grows, people are taking an abundance of precautions to keep from contracting it.
Some of these are practical: working from home, washing hands, avoiding crowds. Others are pointless and might even be dangerous.
Here are five myths about the coronavirus that have been debunked by the World Health Organization.
Myth: Cold can kill the coronavirus
What WHO says: There is no reason to believe cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 97.7 F to to 98.6 F (36.5 C – 37.0 C) regardless of the external temperature or weather.
Myth: Coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bites
What WHO says: This is the South, after all, and those blood suckers will be hungry soon. However, WHO says, to date there has been no information or evidence to suggest the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a respiratory virus that spreads “primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.”
Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will kill the coronavirus
What WHO says: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Not only that, but these substances can be harmful to your mucous membranes (not to mention your clothes). Both alcohol and chlorine disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used correctly.
Myth: Rinsing your nose with saline will thwart the new virus
What WHO says: There is no evidence rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is limited evidence it can help people recover more quickly from the common cold, but it has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
Myth: Eating garlic can help prevent infection
What WHO says: Garlic has some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
You can find WHO’s complete list of debunked myths on its website.