Corona virus: myths and facts

Corona virus: myths and facts

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What is true, what is invented?

There are many unanswered questions about the new SARS-Co-V2 coronavirus. The fact that the virus has reappeared means that we don't know much about it yet. Speculation is easy and fake news can spread extremely quickly, especially via social networks. It is therefore all the more important to keep yourself up to date with reputable information sources.

Expert answers current questions

Dr. Gregory Poland, internist and member of the “Vaccine Research Group” at Mayo Clinic Minnesota, answers the latest questions about SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting lung disease COVID-19 in a Mayo Clinic article.

1. Can hand dryers kill viruses?

The expert has a clear answer to this question: NO. You should avoid hand dryers that blow their hands dry with warm or cold air after washing! The circulation of the viruses is increased by the air flow. This process has been well investigated using other viruses and also applies to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.

2. Should I avoid using my hair dryer?

Dr. asks whether the use of a hair dryer could be problematic with regard to SARS-CoV-2. Poland says: “As long as you are not suffering from a cough or fever or have been exposed to someone who has a cough or fever, I see no problem in using a hairdryer. There is no literature I know that indicates that this poses a risk. “So you can continue to use your hair dryer without any worries.

3. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine on my body kill COVID-19 pathogens?

Dr. Gregory Poland expressly warns against spraying alcohol or chlorine on the body as these substances are intended for cleaning hard surfaces. You can do great damage to our sensitive skin! Cleaning with soap and water is completely sufficient to kill viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. He explains how this works:

“The soap contains surface tension agents so that it removes the electrostatic attraction of the virus to your skin, destroys the virus envelope and removes oils and mucus that may be on your body and in which the virus can live. And you literally wash it away with water by rubbing. "

4. Do I have to wash my hands in boiling water?

The assumption that only particularly hot water can kill the pathogens is definitely wrong! Boiling water destroys the virus, but it should not be left on the skin as this would lead to severe burns.

It does not matter whether you wash your hands with cold or hot water, provided you use soap and wash them for a correspondingly long time (lather well for at least 20 seconds, rinse thoroughly). The Mayo Clinic expert describes how soap works:

"No, you don't have to use hot water. Either warm or cold works just as well. It is more important to wash yourself properly. There are oils on your hands and viruses adhere to this oil. They are electrostatically charged. But if you wash yourself with soap by physically rubbing it, the friction will wash away the virus and the soap will damage the virus. It is the most effective means we know. This is why, for example, surgeons scrub their hands so carefully before entering an operating room. It works and it works really well. "

5. Are nasal irrigation with saline helpful or harmful?

Many people wonder how nasal irrigation with saline works. This measure is presumably neutral. This means that there are currently no specific indications that the rinses are harmful, nor that they are used in dealing with the new corona virus.

What does dr say Poland in addition? "The nasal irrigation has proven to be particularly effective for sinus infections and allergies. There is no direct evidence that saline prevents COVID-19, nor does it increase your risk of infection. ”

6. Can garlic prevent COVID-19 infection?

The expert answers no to the question of whether one can protect himself from being infected with SARS-CoV-2 by eating garlic. "Garlic will only help insofar as it makes social distance easier," said Dr. Gregory Poland.

It alludes to the typical smell that you exude after eating garlic and which many people find extremely unpleasant. So garlic would help keep others at a distance. However, according to Poland, there is no evidence that garlic can protect against the virus.

7. Can the gargle protect with bleach?

The extremely dangerous false information is circulating on the Internet. Gargling with diluted bleach can kill the new corona virus in the throat area. According to Dr. Poland definitely do not!

The same applies to inserting cotton swabs soaked in bleach into the nose: it is very dangerous and should not be used. Bleaching agents can cause severe and lasting damage to the mucous membranes.

8. Can antibiotics kill COVID-19 pathogens?

The expert also answers this question with a clear no. Antibiotics are able to fight many bacteria. However, they are ineffective against viruses. This also applies to the new type of corona virus.

"Antibiotics may only be used if there is a known, documented co-infection with bacteria," adds Dr. Poland, that is, if, in addition to an infection with the novel corona virus, there is an additional infection with bacteria that could be combated by the antibiotic. For example, in the case of pneumonia caused by COVID-19, secondary infections with bacteria can often be identified, since these can more easily penetrate into the damaged lung tissue.

9. Can I use my own hand disinfectant?

The pandemic has made shortages of hand disinfectants in many places. It is therefore a legitimate question whether you can use your own disinfectant. Dr. To answer this question, Gregory Poland once again points out that washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is best suited to rendering the pathogens on the skin harmless or to remove them.

Hand disinfectant is the second best choice. Poland explains:

“However, it is important to use the right type and amount of hand sanitizer to be effective. You will need a quarter to a half dollar amount of a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can definitely try making your own product because there are many recipes online, including one from the World Health Organization. ”

So here too it is important to only use recipes from reputable, verified sources!

Important NOTE

Please take care not to take information from the Internet and social networks or from your circle of friends without being checked. Be more critical, look for evidence from other sources if necessary and only use reputable and reliable sources such as the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you have any doubts about the correctness of reports, do not distribute them further and do not use questionable tips!

Additional information

You can find further questions and answers about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in our articles "Coronavirus infection: Do mosquitoes also transmit SARS-CoV-2?" And "Coronavirus - facts and fakes".

You can find out how to properly wash and care for your hands in our article "Corona Crisis: Care Instructions for Hands Stressed by Disinfectant and Soap". (kh)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Magistra Artium (M.A.) Katja Helbig


  • Weiss, Cynthia: Mayo Clinic Q and A: Myths and facts about COVID-19; (published 04/20/2020), Mayo Clinic

Video: TOP 5 MYTHS - CORONAVIRUS (October 2022).