COVID-19: Myth buster

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    ‘To this day, there is no drug, herb, beverage, food, substance, lotion or potion that prevents or cures COVID-19 infection. Even vaccines are still being evaluated for safety and effectiveness and not available yet.’

    COVID-19: China’s bio-weapon

    WHILE there is ample evidence, even in the Chinese medical literature that the nCorona virus outbreak originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, most likely starting from a bat (not pangolin) infecting the first patient in early November 2019, who became symptomatic, and diagnosed about 10 to 14 day later, there is no evidence the virus was developed, intentionally spread, or even accidentally escaped from a Chinese bio-lab a few kilometers from Wuhan.

    As I have said more than a month ago, if China had wanted to use any virus/bugs as a bio-weapon, it could have simply infected airplanes (or persons) destined for the United States, without first causing and enduring a deadly outbreak that killed almost 5,000 (suspected to be multiple times higher) in China itself, and making obvious to the world that the infection originated in China. But China is culpable and accountable for its gross negligence and incompetence for not containing the Wuhan outbreak, for its deceit and lack of transparency, silencing all the Chinese whistleblowers wanting to warn the world about the nCorona infection, and allowing international flights out of Wuhan and China then, which resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic, with about 5.5 million cases and 350,000 killed around the globe.

     Recovery confers total immunity

    Simply because COVID-19 patients have recovered does not guarantee they will not get re-infected. It depends on the immune-integrity of the patients; some may have developed sufficient antibody to be immune from SARS-Cov2 virus, but others may not. This why recovered patients should still follow the COVID-19 guidelines of wearing masks, gloves, not touching the face, social distancing when going out for essential movement/travel to prevent re-infection.

    Young COVID patients do not die

    This is a myth, and a dangerous one, a misconception that could embolden young persons to be careless and not follow the guidelines, thus contributing to the spread of COVID-19. Yes, young people, even children 9 years old and older have died during this pandemic. In New York alone, there were 9 (10-17 years old) who died (0.06%), none below 9; and 601 (ages 18-44) who died (3.9%), compared to 8% for ages 70-79, and 14.8 for those 80 and older.

     Alcohol/bleach rub destroys SARS-CoV2

    While it is true that alcohol (75% and higher) and chlorine bleach (5 tablespoon in one gallon water) are good surface disinfectants that are effective in destroying SARS-CoV2 virus and other past Corona viruses, they are very toxic when applied to the skin, eyes, nose, mouth, any part of the body, human or pets. If ingested, these could kill.

     Hot bath will cure COVID-19

    No, this is false. Again, presently, there is no cure for COVID-19. Antiviral Remdesivir and others are still being tested.

    Vitamins, Zinc can prevent COVID-19

    No, they cannot. Vitamin C and D, zinc, local anesthetic agents, and steroids have been touted on social media to be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19, but they do not. Garlic, onions, pepper, and spices in general, nuts and fruits and vegetables have all been listed in the social media as anti-COVID-19. No, none of these can prevent COVID-19. A good diet with all those could boost the body’s immune system, but they cannot prevent getting COVID-19. If added as a regimen in addition to following the guidelines, yes, that will help, but not in themselves alone.

    Mosquitoes, fleas can transmit SARS-CoV2

    While a sick tiger in a New York zoo tested positive for COVID-19 (the first animal case), animal to human transfer is practically nil, as far as we know today. The virus is not spread by mosquitoes, tick, fleas, or houseflies, or bed bugs. We are still learning a lot about this SARS-CoV2 virus. Very common is human to human transfer, since the transmission is by droplet (from talking, breathing, coughing, sneezing, and also by contact with saliva or mucus) from a person who has SARS-CoV2 virus but asymptomatic or those who have frank COVID-19 infection. Touching surfaces contaminated with the saliva or mucus of carriers of SARS-CoV2 virus or by COVID-19 infected persons will transmit the virus also.

    Clothing cannot transmit the virus

    False. Clothing, cap, mask, gloves, socks, shoes, and any surface can be contaminated and harbor the virus, when COVID-19 infected persons breathe cough, sneeze, or touch (even if gloved) any or those surfaces. One sneeze or cough shoots out 40,000 virus molecule, whose trajectory could be as far as 6 to 13 feet, and could float in the air for 2 hours or more (before it lands on surfaces and on floors) depending on the wind (airflow) in the room. These airborne viruses are infectious when they land on the mucus membrane of our eyes, nose, and mouth. Swallowed viruses are destroyed by the acids in our stomach.

    Hospital studies have shown the shoes worn on floors of ICUs, wards, and even pharmacy floors, have the SARS-CoV2 viruses on them, top and sole, which can then transmit the virus, wherever the shoes. This is why, upon returning home, it is prudent that caps, googles, masks, gloves, clothing and shoes be left in the garage overnight or washed with soap and water, or exposed to UVC light for at least 15 minutes. Viruses need hosts, like humans, to survive and replicate.

     Weather affects SARS-CoV2 virus

    No, the weather temperature (superhot or winter chilly cold) and humidity do not affect COVID-19 infection, one way or the other. There is COVID-19 in hot and cold weather, with various humidity level, in cities and countries. Exposing your body to hot or cold weather, eating or drinking spicy hot foods/beverage, or drinking common alcoholic beverage, or hot baths, will not prevent or cure COVID-19. A close relative of SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) virus, the SARS virus is inactivated at temperatures of 56 to 65 degrees Celsius (132.8 to 143 degrees Fahrenheit, so boiling (100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit) will destroy the COVID-19 virus.

    COVID-19 more deadly than SARS, MERS

    This is false. COVID-19 has a global mortality rate of 3.4%, while SARS (2002-2004) had 9.6% mortality, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, 2012,2016-18), 34%. Seasonal Flu about 1%, since vaccines for this are available and people have been exposed to it for decades, many developing immunity to seasonal flu.  COVID-19 is new. The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) of 1347-1351 killed an estimated 75 to 200 million people in EurAsia. There were half a dozen outbreaks that followed, the last ones between 1665 to 1666 in England. Black death (1331), like SARS and COVID-19, all originated from China.

     There are items to prevent or cure COVID-19

    False. To this day, there is no drug, herb, beverage, food, substance, lotion or potion that prevents or cures COVID-19 infection. Even vaccines are still being evaluated for safety and effectiveness and not available yet. Exposure to the warmest sunlight is not effective either, because the UVA, UVB do not destroy the SARS-Cov2 virus, and the UVC light from the sun that can disintegrate this virus is filtered (prevented) by the ozone layer above from reaching the earth at an effective dose. Electric UVC lamps available today for sterilizing surgical suites, ICU, hospital wards and rooms, and portable units that could be used in homes. Warning: UVC light – dangerous to the eyes and skin. The areas being sterilized should have no people, pets, or plants. Far-UVC lights that would be harmless to people, pets and plants are being developed at Columbia University by Dr. David Brenner. The units for home use would be like the electric mosquito/fly zapper lanterns available today.

    COVID-19: All negative results

    While this pandemic has wreaked havoc upon the world, with severe human and economic tragedies and miseries, there are also positive side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them are: with more than 90 of cars in the garage, accidents and injuries fell by more than 50% (62% in Washington), with 20-30% less (emission) pollution, saving more than 4,000 children under age 5 and 73,000 adults over 70 from pulmonary problems; assault and robbery significantly down; hospitals, restaurants, casinos, other public places are cleaner with much less bacteria and viruses; people around the world are more health conscious and have cleaner hands than ever before; infidelity is at all time low (Thou Shall Not “COVID”), a lot of happy wives, even without going shopping, which makes a lot of happy husbands; healthcare workers are wiser and more prepared for future outbreaks; nations around the globe will be watching China with magnifying lenses; even the HIV and STDs diagnoses appear to be lower, obviously casual sex restrained for fear of COVID-19.

    On the lighter side: The past few weeks, I got a kick out of wearing a cap, dark glasses, mask, and gloves, going to the bank teller “demanding” money.

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    Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, a Health Advocate, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. Websites: philipSchua.com and  FUN8888.com 

    Email: [email protected]

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