WHO Advisories regarding COVID-19

Last March, the World Health Organization, the premier administrative body in charge of monitoring the world’s health-related issues and concerns, declared that the COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels and encouraged the governments to implement the necessary measures to reduce transmission of the virus and prompt treatment of those who have been inflicted.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. People who contracted this disease may experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring any special medical attention. However, older people and those with underlying comorbidities such as heart diseases, diabetes, chronic pulmonary problems, and cancer have a greater risk of developing severe complications and even result in death.

As of now, scientific evidence shows that COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets of saliva or nasal discharge when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Thus, it is important that you observe proper respiratory etiquette (example, coughing on your elbows instead of openly coughing without covering your mouth). 

There are no vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19 yet. However, hundreds of teams are in a race against time to produce one and a few of them have ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. The WHO will continue to provide updates about the results of the clinical trials as soon as they’re available.

For now, the best way to prevent and slow down the transmission and spread of the virus is proper information dissemination especially about how the virus is spread (which we highlighted above) and its signs and symptoms (for early detection, thus early treatment). For your protection, you may simply do the following: wash your hands frequently with soap and water (or with 60% rubbing alcohol or sanitizer when handwashing is not feasible) and avoid touching your face.

For more information about COVID-19, you may visit WHO’s overview here.

There is still so much we don’t know about COVID-19. With that, it’s quite common to rely on things, fake they may be, to provide a sense of stability and in some twisted sense, provide a glimmer of hope. It’s easy for some to fall prey to fake news and myths. So, we rounded up some of these myths which the WHO graciously debunked.

FACT: Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t have clinical benefits in treating COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine, effective treatment for malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis, has made headlines and at some point, it was allegedly effective in treating COVID-19. However, current data show that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients nor is it effective in treating patients with moderate symptoms.

FACT: Masks shouldn’t be worn when exercising.

While masks are effective in reducing your chances of getting infected with COVID-19, it is not advisable to be worn while exercising. Masks reduce one’s ability to breathe comfortably because as you exercise, sweat build-up makes the mask wet which makes it difficult for air to pass freely. Also, wet masks encourage the growth of microorganisms. 

FACT: COVID-19 is caused by a virus and not a bacteria.

This should be self-explanatory but as the name coronavirus suggests, the causative agent for this disease belongs to a strain of coronavirus like SARS and MERS. Thus, this goes without saying, that any antibiotic you take will have no effect whatsoever nor will it aid in killing the coronavirus.

FACT: Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it.

Despite it being highly contagious and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people (200,00++ of which are in the US), there are still definitely more people who recovered from it. 

It is known that some people who were infected only showed mild flu-like symptoms and didn’t even need any advanced forms of medical treatment.

FACT: Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures more than 25 degrees Celsius will not protect you from COVID-19

Contrary to the belief of some, putting yourself under the heat of the sun, or being in a warm environment does not provide any form of protection at all from COVID-19. 

The US is a prime example of this. There was a time when New York was the epicenter of the pandemic in the US but that quickly changed and at some point, the sunny states host the greatest number of infections in the country. 

For your own good and protection, you can instead wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth and nose.

FACT: Being able to hold your breath or 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling any discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from COVID-19

This is funny when you think about it but just a few months ago, this was one of the early “diagnostic” signs among the masses. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, body malaise, and fever. Some people may be at risk of developing severe respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia. The best and only way to confirm that you have COVID-19 is to undergo a viral test. Breathing exercises will never confirm if you have contracted COVID-19 and assuming that you are COVID-free because you can hold your breath for 10 seconds straight is plain dangerous.

FACT: Ultraviolet (UV) Lamps should not be used to disinfect your hands or other areas of your skin.

UV sterilizers were not designed to disinfect your hands or any part of your skin. A convenient and safe way to do so is to wash your hands and skin with soap and water. If you find yourself in situations where that is not possible then applying hand sanitizers or 60% rubbing alcohol will suffice.

We will continue to convey official information about the latest advisories and announcements from the WHO to keep you in the loop. Until a vaccine is proven to be safe and effective let’s do our part to stay safe and well. If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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