There is a lot of information about Coronavirus right now, including many myths about the virus itself and the treatments available. So we researched through many of these updates and sources of information to bring you some of the information on alternative medication and myths.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus, specifically Covid 19 is a virus that began within animals. As the virus mutated it developed the ability to jump from animal to human, then pass from human to human. This is a new type of Coronavirus. The official name for the virus is SARS-CoV-2.
The most common symptoms to be reported are: a fever, dry cough and tiredness. Mild cases may only show symptoms of runny nose or sore throat. In the most severe cases difficulty of breathing can develop, which can lead to organ failure, some being fatal.
The virus can be asymptomatic meaning no noticeable symptoms develop in some people, however they are still contagious and can spread the virus.
Covid 19 is a respiratory illness and primarily spread through air droplets in the air.
Heat kills the virus
It has been said heat can kill the virus. It is known that many viruses and illnesses do not survive well in higher heats, with many common bugs
Flu, also known as influenza is a viral respiratory illness. It is well known we suffer worse with Flu during the winter months and rarely become ill with influenza during the warmest months of the year. As the Covid 19 virus, another respiratory illness, is similar in the type of virus to a general flu it’s no surprise we’re wondering if heat may help kill the virus.
There are many theories as to why Flu spreads in the winter months, however despite testing these theories no concrete answer has been found to answer why this happens. Is it that the virus doesn’t survive so well in heat? Is it because the cold weakens our immune systems making it easier to catch and suffer with a virus? Is it because we spend more time indoors and on public transport in close contact with others?
- What is known is that commonly similar viruses reduce during the summer months.
- We know that our bodies regulate temperature – this is why having a hot bath and other similar heating methods do not affect the virus if you are infected.
- Countries with hot and humid air are still finding infections spreading through their population
UV light has been considered as a way to kill the virus. There are multiple types of UV rays in sunlight, all of which are capable of damaging different parts of our genetic and physical make up as humans.
UVC has huge uses for sanitisation due to its ability to kill micro organisms. It can be used to sanitise hospitals, airplanes and is a key aspect in water sanitisation. This means it is a hugely vital part of the fight against Coronavirus, being used in hospitals, public transport and across cities to sanitise surfaces.
However- it is key to highlight that UV light is hugely dangerous to humans. We are usually protected from UVC due to the ozone layer. Should we as humans directly come into contact with this type of UV ray the damage we would usually see from much longer periods of contact with UVA or UVB would be expected to take place in hugely reduced time.
UV lights can damage our skin causing ageing, sunburn and eventually skin cancers and therefore is not a solution to help fight infection of viruses such as Covid 19.
What can we do?
- Education. It’s important to stay up to date with the education of the virus, its symptoms and cures. Huge amounts of information is shared, some true and some myths. While some of the information may not be yet proven we can best educate ourselves to make good decisions by researching trustworthy sites such as BBC, NHS, WHO. There are many scientific and medical sites that may or may not be reliable. Always check the reliability of an information source before making a decision.
- Wash your hands. As with most viral infections and illnesses there’s not a cure as such, while it may reduce in the summer (yet to be determined) heat can not cure someone infected. The best cause of action is to wash your hands properly and prevent the illness.
- Social distancing. Keeping 2 meters apart will help you avoid the water particles being transferred from one person to another, which is the primary source of infection.
- Wipe down surfaces. Ensure you disinfect surfaces and sanitise (or preferably wash your hands) when touching surfaces such as at the super market. Viruses can survive on surfaces at an average of 72 hours.
- Stay home. The best preventative measure is of course, following the Gov guidelines to stay home.
- If you get ill- rest, drink plenty of fluids and follow the NHS suggestions on managing the illness to avoid spreading the virus or making your symptoms worse.