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Busting Coronavirus Myths: Medical professionals separate fact from fiction

Updated: Mar. 5, 2020 at 10:58 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There are so many myths surrounding the deadly coronavirus circulating around the internet.

“So we have to prepare for the worst scenario of contagion and that is a lot of people will get this.”

Dr. Steve Threlkeld says the coronavirus isn’t the only thing spreading across the United States so is hysteria and fear.

Since the virus made its way to the United States from China, misinformation continues to circle the internet regarding the truth about the virus.

Let’s break down the most common myths about the coronavirus.

We want to fill you in on the facts, not the fear, and Dr. Threlkeld, an Infectious Disease Specialist at the Baptist hospital, sets the record straight.

“We know it is coming, we know who it impacts the most, and the likelihood of it killing hundreds of thousands of people here in the states seems very unlikely.”

Lets start with face masks. They have been flying off the shelves around the country, but how effective are they really?

“That’s a very important rumor to talk about.. you see pictures across Asian of people walking across the airport in mask but the truth is there is no data to suggest that it works to prevent the virus.”

But if you have the virus it will cut the risk of passing the virus on to someone else.

And when it comes to preventing the virus, washing your hands will be your best defense.

“We still prefer soap and water to the alcohol hand sanitizers if you have access to it but if not it’s still a good thing to use.”

Another big myth that is making it’s rounds; Is it still safe to receive packages from other countries?

“The virus can survive on surfaces for 4 to 5 hours but it does not survive for a day or two. Anything you get in the mail from China or another country will be safe."

It’s true that elderly people with underlying health conditions are at the most risk of the coronavirus.

“We expect that it is worse in the extreme of age and those with health problems because it is important to remember that the average young healthy person does not get very sick from this virus typically.”

The fear of coming face to face with the infection travels worldwide. But how likely are you to actually contract the virus?

“How likely a given American in a given state is to get this…. I think we do not know the answer yet. We do know it is very contagious and it is difficult to prevent the spread.”

Doctor Threlkeld encourages you to stay calm and practice good hygiene along the way.

“Wash your hands, do not go to school or work if you are sick, do not expose people if you can help it.”

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