by Dr. Marsha Mullings – Jamaica Diaspora Health Taskforce (JDHTF)
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – The Coronavirus pandemic is the most serious global health crisis since the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic. We have the tools to combat the worst effects of this crisis, yet progress towards ending this pandemic is hindered by misinformation and spurious claims around COVID and the vaccines. We highlight here a list of the most common COVID-19 myths, and present science-based facts that counter these claims.
Please visit the websites of your respective Ministries of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the latest information about SARs-Cov-2 and COVID-19 disease.
“COVID-19 vaccines are made from mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) or another biological agent (Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers) and do not contain a microchip or tracking devices.”
MYTH: COVID-19 WAS CREATED IN A LAB
- FACT: Evidence from genetic sequencing of the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) suggest that the virus most likely originated in bats, and subsequently infected humans. Comparative studies with other coronaviruses show a high degree of affinity with SARS-CoV-2. No evidence points to a man-made origin for this virus.
MYTH: 5G TECHNOLOGY SPREADS CORONAVIRUS
- FACT: Viruses are biological entities composed of proteins and DNA or RNA. The 5G network is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, comprised of waves or packets (photons) of energy. Viruses cannot survive on packets of vibrating energy; they need a biological host such as human or animal cells to survive and replicate. The coronavirus can only be spread by humans or other animals.
MYTH: CORONAVIRUS CAN BE SPREAD THROUGH MOSQUITO BITES
- FACT: There is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus can be spread through mosquito bites. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is primarily spread through respiratory droplets emitted when a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes. It is present in saliva and nasal discharges.
MYTH: ANTIBIOTICS CAN CURE COVID-19 ILLNESS
- FACT: Antibiotics target illnesses that originate from a BACTERIAL agent. Antibiotics are not effective against illnesses caused by a VIRAL agent such as coronavirus. Hospitals will administer antibiotics to COVID-19 patients who have also developed a bacterial infection, but they are not a treatment for COVID-19 disease.
MYTH: TAKING A HOT OR STEAM BATH WILL STOP COVID-19
- FACT: Taking a bath in extremely hot water or in steam will not prevent an infection with coronavirus or development of COVID-19 illness. The human body maintains a constant temperature within the range of 97°F to 99°F (36°C to 37°C) regardless of the exterior environment and will not kill an invading virus or prevent replication in the body. Exposing the body to hot steam or water WILL instead cause severe burns and scalding of the skin.
MYTH: EXPOSURE TO LOW TEMPERATURE OR SNOW CAN KILL THE CORONAVIRUS
- FACT: The body maintains a constant temperature regardless of the exterior environment. The coronavirus will not be affected by the external temperature outside our bodies and will continue to replicate. Exposure to extremely low temperatures for prolonged periods may lead to hypothermia or death.
MYTH: INGESTING BLEACH OR OTHER DISINFECTANTS WILL CURE COVID-19 DISEASE
- FACT: Bleach and other household disinfectants are NOT intended for human consumption. They will not prevent coronavirus from replicating in the body and they will not prevent progression to COVID-19 illness. Ingesting bleach or other household disinfectants may lead to poisoning or death.
MYTH: COVID-19 VACCINES CONTAIN MICROCHIPS
- FACT: COVID-19 vaccines are made from mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) or another biological agent (Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers) and do not contain a microchip or tracking devices.
MYTH: COVID VACCINE CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION, LOW SPERM COUNT AND SWOLLEN TESTICLES
- FACT: There is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 vaccine causes erectile dysfunction, low sperm count or swollen testicles. However, studies have reported that COVID-19 illness may cause some of these conditions separately. Men who have recovered from COVID-19 illness have reported swollen testicles, and erectile dysfunction. These conditions usually resolve after a few months, according to urologists. Low sperm count has been reported after a COVID-19 illness. This was usually temporary.
MYTH: COVID-19 VACCINE CAN CAUSE FEMALE INFERTILITY
- FACT: There is no evidence that suggests that women who have received a COVID-19 vaccine were subsequently unable to become pregnant. In fact, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or may become pregnant in the future.
MYTH: BEING NEAR SOMEONE WHO RECEIVED A COVID-19 VACCINE WILL AFFECT THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE
- FACT: The menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being in close proximity to someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine. The menstrual cycle can be affected by many things such as stress, changes in diet or exercise, changes in sleep pattern and other factors.
MYTH: COVID-19 VACCINES CAN ALTER DNA
- FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not interact with or change DNA. The vaccines do not have the ability to introduce material into DNA and thereby change its structure. The vaccine simply allows our cells to build a defense against the target coronavirus agent.
Dr. Marsha Mullings is an epidemiologist. She received her academic training at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Mullings also worked at UM, spending a lot of her time in and around the Jackson Hospital system, a premiere spot for the best of public health training. She worked extensively in the Broward Healthcare districts, through the Florida Department of Health. Dr. Mullings has worked in Research and Development in Australia, working closely with universities and private institutions. Her professional passion is to work across disciplines and expertise, within the realm of science and beyond, to solve the problems that affect individuals and communities.