Busting COVID-19 myths with Dr. Hemmal Kothary: March 31, 2020


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — COVID-19 is called the novel coronavirus because it is new and with that comes many questions. Unfortunately, a lot of false information circulates about the disease and the virus on social media. 17’s Alex Fisher and Dr. Hemmal Kothary debunk the myths and sort out what’s true and what isn’t.

Claim 1) There are remedies that can fight COVID-19: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “We don’t know of any home remedies that can do that and we’re trying to tell people if the home remedies make you feel better, then by all means.”

Claim 2) Drinking hot tea kills the virus: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “It will make you feel better in the morning but won’t kill the virus.”

Claim 3) Your pet can spread coronavirus : Myth

Dr. Kothary: “We have absolutely no evidence that your household pet — whether it be your dog, cat or anything else can spread the virus, so absolute myth.”

Claim 4) It is safe to order take-out: Fact

Dr. Kothary: “Restaurants are being extremely careful in how they handle food. If anything, the virus may be on the box so once again, once you get the box and open it up, wash your hands before you start eating.”

Claim 5) You can get the virus through open wounds: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “There’s no blood transmission of the virus that we know of. This is a droplet virus that can come through the droplets. We know that it isn’t even airborne.”

Claim 6) People who have Valley Fever are more susceptible: Fact

Dr. Kothary: “There’s a spectrum. If you have a mild case of valley fever and you’re over it, then your chance of getting the virus is the same as everyone else. If you have a severe case and you have a lot of scarring in your lungs your risk becomes a little higher.”

Claim 7) Packages from China are dangerous: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “I think any package can be dangerous. I don’t think China is unique. What we’ve told people is if you get a package, bring it in the house, open it up and get the contents out and then wash your hands.”

Claim 8) Vodka can be used as sanitizer: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “Well it would be a very expensive sanitizer. I would not use vodka personally. We have plenty of sanitizers out there so keep using it.”

Claim 9) People with certain blood types have a higher risk: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “This is an interesting question. There was a very small study in China that showed certain blood types get the virus. I don’t believe it, so I’m going to say myth.”

Claim 10) It takes 10 minutes for an infected person to infect you: Myth

Dr. Kothary: “The longer time you’re with someone there is a higher risk. However, we’re social distancing, so as long as you’re six feet away and coughing in your shoulder the chances of you getting the virus are low.”

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