Coronavirus: Myths People Once Believed about COVID-19 Which Have Been Debunked

Temperature check

The Doctors spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Ravina Kullar about coronavirus myths that many people once believed and have now been debunked.

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Myth: Taking someone's temperature can detect if someone has COVID-19

"I think it's creating a false sense of security," she says when asked about businesses, schools, and offices taking temperatures in order to screen for the virus. She stresses that in addition to a temperature check, the practicing of social distancing and the use of face masks or face shields is vital.  

She notes that many people can have the virus and NOT have a temperature, and she feels if someone is exhibiting any other signs of COVID-19 (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) they should not be engaging with others and should be isolating. Dr. Kullar also notes a thermal forehead thermometer is one of the least accurate methods when taking someone's temperature.

Myth: Taking ibuprofen can worsen COVID-19 symptoms

Dr. Kullar says many aspects of the virus are still unknown and in the early stages of the pandemic, numerous ideas were circulated which have turned out to not be accurate, including the idea that ibuprofen (or Advil) caused coronavirus symptoms to worsen. She says researchers have determined that ibuprofen does not exacerbate the virus.

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Myth: Wearing a facemask increases the body's carbon monoxide levels to be unsafe 

Despite what some may claim about face masks causing the body to reach unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide, she says getting to a level in the body where it is unsafe is highly improbable due to the use of a facemask.

Possible myth: You can be infected with COVID-19 multiple times

Dr. Kullar says additional research and testing will need to be done in order to accurately debunk the idea of getting infected multiple times, but she notes there have been no cases of someone being reinfected thus far. She says those initial reports of individuals getting coronavirus secondary infections have been retracted. 

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The Doctors stress the importance of continuing to follow all prevention guidelines: social distancing, routine and frequent handwashing, wearing a mask when in public, the cleaning of high touch surfaces, avoiding people who are sick, and if you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you have been exposed, contact your doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested. Find out more information about local COVID-19 testing in your area, including free testing.

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