New information is emerging every day about COVID-19, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. To stay up to date, follow reputable sources of information, including Yale New Haven Health, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more below about some of the common myths surrounding COVID-19.
Can certain foods protect me from COVID-19?
No. Certain fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin A and C are good for boosting immunity, but that won’t prevent the spread of COVID-19. Another myth is that garlic can protect you from the virus.
“Onions and garlic do have healthy compounds. But it’s not possible to eat them to a therapeutic level that will ward this off,” said Ellen Liskov, registered dietitian nutritionist at Yale New Haven Hospital.
In addition, always consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Can UV light be used to kill COVID-19?
The World Health Organization says UV light should not be used to sterilize hands. To properly disinfect hands, wash them for 20 seconds or more, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Regularly clean common household surfaces and objects, including doorknobs, TV remotes, light switches and handles. If you can, use disposable gloves to disinfect surfaces, and then wash your hands for 20 seconds or more after taking the gloves off.
Do I need to practice social distancing if I’m healthy?
Yes. Even if you’re not showing any symptoms, you could still be a carrier.
“It doesn’t mean that you won’t get sick just because you’re healthy,” said Steven Choi, MD, FAAP, vice president and chief quality officer for Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine. “You may be at lower risk of developing severe disease but you can absolutely develop severe disease as a healthy person as well.”
Will antibiotics work to treat COVID-19?
No. Antibiotics are used to treat some bacterial infections, not viruses and COVID-19 is a new virus. Right now, there is no specific antiviral treatment that is recommended for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If I can hold my breath for 10 seconds or more, does that mean I don’t have COVID-19?
No. The WHO says if you can hold your breath for an extended period of time, that doesn’t mean you don’t have the virus, or any other lung disease for that matter. To confirm whether or not you have COVID-19, you will need to get the appropriate test. To get tested, contact your doctor if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus and develop symptoms.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. As with any new technology, the COVID-19 vaccines have been the target of misinformation. One common myth about these vaccines is that they were rushed so they can't be safe. These vaccines are new, but the technology used to make them is not new. In addition, all available vaccines were thoroughly studied and reviewed before they were granted approval for emergency use by the FDA. So far, these vaccines have been given to millions in the U.S. alone.
Learn more about common vaccine myths.
Questions about COVID-19? Call 833-ASK-YNHH (833-275-9644).
Yale New Haven Health is offering a call center for patients and the community who have questions about COVID-19. Healthcare and human resources professionals from the Health System and University are available to answer your specific questions 7 days a week, 7 am – 7 pm.
More information on coronavirus is also available from Yale New Haven Health and the CDC.