(NC) The novel coronavirus is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. While social distancing plays an important role in slowing the transmission in our communities, we can also do our part to stop the spread of misinformation.
The Government of Canada is providing the public with timely, trusted and evidence-based information that you can use to protect yourself, as well as your family, community and businesses. Here, with information from Health Canada, we debunk some myths and share some facts on COVID-19:
Myth: Only older adults and sick individuals can be affected by COVID-19.
Fact: While the risk of severe illness and outcomes is higher for older adults and those of all ages with underlying medical conditions, people of all ages can contract COVID-19. Everyone needs to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.
Following good hand hygiene and social distancing advice is strongly recommended for everyone.
Myth: Healthy individuals should wear a mask to prevent getting sick.
Fact: If you are a healthy individual, the use of a mask is not necessary. A healthy individual needs to wear a mask only if you are taking care of a person with a suspected COVID-19 infection.
If you are experiencing symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of any infection to others. When wearing a mask, make sure to properly cover your mouth and nose, avoid touching the mask once it’s on your face, properly discard the mask after each use and wash your hands after removing the mask.
Myth: Taking ibuprofen to manage symptoms will make them worse.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence that establishes a link between ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, speak with your health-care provider regarding the most appropriate health products for the treatment of fever or pain. If you are currently taking ibuprofen, especially for a chronic illness, do not stop taking your medication.
Myth: All Canadians have been asked to self-isolate.
Fact: Canadians are being asked to practice social distancing, which means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others. These changes include:
- staying home as much as possible, including for work, meals and entertainment
- avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
- exercising at home or outside
- keeping a distance of at least two arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible
- limiting physical contact with people at higher risk, such as older adults and those with poor health, is of particular importance
- hosting virtual playdates for your kids
- using technology to keep in touch with friends and family
Individuals need to self-isolate if they have travelled outside Canada within the last 14 days or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or being tested for COVID-19. Self-isolation means to:
- stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days
- avoid contact with other people, including your family, to help prevent the spread of disease in your home and in your community
Myth: There are health products to treat COVID-19.
Fact: Health Canada has not approved any health product to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating on products to treat this coronavirus. This is why it’s important to make sure you get your information from credible sources. If you hear about or have information on the potential non-compliant sale or advertising of any health product related to COVID-19, you are encouraged to report it to Health Canada using their online form.
Myth: A vaccine will be available in the coming weeks.
Fact: The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine, and, at this time, there is no specific drug or medication that treats people who have COVID-19.
However, countries around the world, including Canada, are making significant investments in research and development to advance vaccine development and support clinical trials.
For reliable information and facts you can trust, turn to the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial and territorial public health authorities.
Find more information by calling 1-833-784-4397 or at canada.ca/coronavirus.