5 myths about coronavirus

5 myths about coronavirus

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There's a lot of information out there about coronavirus (COVID-19) and not all of it is true. How do you know if what you’re seeing online is fact or fiction? Most importantly, get your information from reputable sources like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Utah Department of Health, and Intermountain Healthcare. Here are five myths about coronavirus.

Myth #1

The public water supply is contaminated with COVID-19 and you should only drink bottled water or other non-public sources of water.

FALSE. There’s no evidence that the virus has spread through the water supply. In fact, the treatment in water facilities protects us from pathogens.

Myth #2

Patients should cancel any standing appointments with their healthcare provider in order to avoid hospitals and medical offices where patients infected with COVID-19 may be present.

FALSE. It’s very important to monitor your health as you normally would and follow up with your physician as scheduled.

Myth #3

If I feel sick and I’m worried I may have contracted COVID-19, I should visit an emergency room or InstaCare immediately.

FALSE. Unless you’ve traveled to a location where COVID-19 is active or have been in contact with someone known to have the virus, your risk of contracting COVID-19 is still very low. However, if you’ve traveled to an affected area or been in contact with someone who has already been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call Intermountain Health Answers at 844-501-6600. An Intermountain nurse is available 24/7 to answer your questions and direct your care.

If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, please call your primary care provider before coming to a healthcare facility.

Myth #4

Everyone should wear a face mask while in public areas (malls, parks, train stations, etc.) to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.

FALSE. For the general public, face masks aren’t recommended for protection from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Face masks help prevent further spread of infection from those who are sick to others around them. You should only wear a face mask if a healthcare provider recommends it. A face mask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility, for example).

Myth #5

You can contract COVID-19 from pets or animals.

FALSE. There’s no evidence animals or pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with COVID-19 and spread it to humans. While animals can spread viruses between one another, they are genetically distinct from humans making it extremely hard for viruses to pass between pets and their owners. However, it’s always a good idea wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.

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