Fake news with young man using a smartphone

This Version Posted: May 25, 2020

Providing factual information about COVID-19 is important to fight fears about the virus19. Spreading lies and misinformation hurts people who read and believe it. Do your part by sharing factual, accurate COVID-19 information with family and friends.

Credible Sources of COVID-19 Information:

Find the Facts

Compiled from: World Health Organization (www.who.int), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), and John Hopkins Medicine (www.hopkinsmedicine.org )

I’ve heard a rumour that taking supplements can help treat COVID-19. 

FACT:  There is no evidence that any natural health product or supplement can prevent or treat COVID-19. These types of false and misleading claims put your health at risk. If you have purchased health products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19, stop using them immediately. Consult a health care provider if you have concerns. You should also report any false/misleading advertising or sale of products in Canada to federal regulators.   

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, practise physical distancing when out on essential errands, and frequently wash your hands with soap and water. 

I read somewhere on the Internet that using cannabis helps treat COVID-19

FACT:  There is NO scientific evidence to show cannabis is effective in preventing or treating COVID-19. In fact, research shows inhaling cannabis smoke can have negative effects on your respiratory system.

It’s been said that sun, hot weather and hot temperatures will stop you from catching COVID-19.

FACT:  There is no evidence that temperature or weather conditions will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. Around the world, countries with different kinds of weather, climates and temperatures are reporting COVID-19 cases.

I’ve heard hot baths can prevent COVID-19.

FACT:  There is nothing to show taking a hot bath prevents COVID-19, although it can be a good way to relax. 

A friend said once you have COVID-19, you have it for life. 

FACT:  Research shows most people who get COVID-19 will recover and show no effects from it.

On social media, I saw a post that states holding your breath for 10 seconds without coughing or feeling pain means you don’t have COVID-19 

FACT:  Breathing exercises, like holding your breath for 10 seconds without coughing or feeling pain, tell you nothing about COVID-19. The best way to determine if you have the virus is through a lab test or doctor’s assessment.  

A drinking buddy told me drinking alcohol protects you from COVID-19.

FACT:  Drinking alcohol does not protect you from COVID-19. In fact, drinking alcohol frequently and in large amounts can lead to other health problems and injuries.   

My neighbour says mosquitoes spread COVID-19.

FACT:  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, and there is no evidence mosquitoes spread the virus.

I saw somewhere how thermal scanners can detect COVID-19. 

FACT:  Thermal scanners are good at detecting people who have developed a fever, which is a symptom of COVID-19.  However, scanners cannot detect people who have COVID-19 without a fever.

What’s with this rumour that spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body will kill COVID-19. 

FACT:  Spraying alcohol or chlorine over your body is harmful to you. It will not kill a virus that is already inside your body. Those substances are most effective for disinfecting surfaces, when used properly.

Someone suggested I rinse my nose with saline to prevent infection from COVID-19.

FACT:  Rinsing your nose with saline does not protects people from COVID-19. However, there is some limited evidence that flushing your nose with saline rinse can help you recover more quickly from the common cold and help ease sinus symptoms.

There’s a person I know who eats lots of garlic and says it helps prevent COVID-19.

FACT:  Garlic has some important antimicrobial properties but eating it does not protect you from COVID-19.  

My teenaged son thinks he’s invincible from COVID-19 since he’s young.

FACT:  People of all ages can get sick from COVID-19. Older adults and people with medical conditions are more at risk, but anyone can get sick with the virus.

I thought I read somewhere how antibiotics can prevent and treat COVID-19.

FACT:  Antibiotics works against bacteria, not viruses like COVID-19. Sometimes antibiotics are used in hospital to treat patients with COVD-19, but this is done to prevent a bacterial infection.

Thank goodness there is a medicine to treat COVID-19.

FACT:  To date, no specific medicine is recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19. Symptoms can be treated, but nothing specific for COVID-19 has yet been developed.

I’ve heard from a Facebook friend that there is a vaccine to fight COVID-19.

FACT:  Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, although work is underway to develop one. Finding a vaccine that is safe and effective for humans will take many months. 

My sister is a conspiracy theorist who believes COVID-19 was created by people. 

FACT:  COVID-19 was not created or released by people, nor is it tied to 5G mobile networks. Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is the likely cause of COVID-19.

My partner swears that taking lots of Vitamin C reduces the risk of COVID-19.

FACT:  Extra amounts of Vitamin C will not prevent infection. The body can only absorb a certain amount of Vitamin C. It then passes through the body as waste. 

My neighbour recommends an herbal remedy to fight COVID-19.

FACT:  There is no specific herbal remedy to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus.

I’ve heard from friends that in all cases, you must stay indoors during COVID-19.

FACT:  Everyone is urged to stay close to home, but that does not mean staying inside for most people. You MUST stay indoors if isolating for 14 days under the federal Quarantine Act with symptoms present.

If you are self-isolating for 14 days because you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have returned from travel with no symptoms, you must stay at home – on your property – until that period has ended.

You can go outdoors if the above do not apply to you (and you’re not sick) to get groceries/medication, walk the dog and get daily exercise. Anytime you go out, you need to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from others..