Some alarming news are being heard lately concerning a new virus outbreak from China: the ‘Coronavirus’. It is one of the main topics on the media and the internet, but not all information we receive is true. A lot of myths are being spread. These false ideas are only causing fear and anxiousness on people, so the truth must be known in order to calm this unnecessary nervousness. However, before that, let’s put things into context.
This is not the first time that humans face a health threat coming from a Coronavirus family member: in 2003, the SARS-CoV caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and in 2012 the MERS-CoV provoked the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Now, a new coronavirus epidemic has been reported coming from Wuhan, China. The so called 2019-nCoV. Its transmission can be done between animals and humans, and from person to person. Infected people can present mild symptoms such as cough or fever. Severe expressions of the disease are also possible, such as pneumonia, kidney failure and even death. Since we previously did not know about this virus, no treatment nor vaccines are available.
So, what about the myths? It is said that the coronavirus can come in packages from China. However, the virus does not survive long on objects, so there is no need to worry about getting infected by this mean. It is completely safe to receive anything from China. It is also said that pets at home may spread the virus, but there is no evidence that this happens. This does not mean you do not have to wash your hands after contact with pets. It should always be done to prevent other potential infections, such as Salmonella.