Myth: Hand dryers kill the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: Hand dryers do not kill the coronavirus. Only washing hands with soap and water or an at least 60% alcohol-based hand rub and drying with a paper towel will kill germs on your hands.
Myth: Ultraviolet lamps kill the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: No, UV lamps do not sterilize hands or skins areas, and can actually cause irritation.
Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine over my body will kill the coronavirus.
Fact: No, spraying alcohol or chlorine over the body will not kill the COVID-19 virus if you’ve already been exposed to the virus. These substances can be harmful to your eyes, mouth, lungs, skin, etc. Use alcohol and bleach safely when disinfecting surfaces.
Myth: Packages from China will give me the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: No, people cannot get the coronavirus from packages mailed from China or other infected areas. Coronaviruses do not survive for very long on letters or packages.
Myth: My pet can give me coronavirus.
Fact: There is no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected with the virus. It is a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after all interactions with your pets to protect against common bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella that do pass between pets and humans.
Myth: I got the pneumonia virus so I can’t get the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: Vaccines for pneumonia do not protect against this coronavirus.
Myth: Saline nasal rinses will protect me against the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: There is no evidence that nasal rinses offer protection against the coronavirus.
Myth: Eating garlic will protect me against getting the coronavirus.
Fact: There is no evidence that garlic can protect you against the COVID-19 virus.
Myth: Putting sesame oil on my skin will protect me against the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: Sesame oil does not kill this coronavirus.
Myth: The COVID-19 disease only affects older people.
Fact: The COVID-19 disease can infect anyone at any age. People with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart disease appear to be more at risk.
Myth: Antibiotics can treat the coronavirus.
Fact: No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacterial infections. COVID-19 is a virus.
Myth: Face masks protect you from the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: When you are sick, regular, surgical or cloth masks help prevent droplets from coughs and sneezes from infecting others. The N-95 respirator mask requires fit testing and are only for health care providers to use. It is not necessary to wear a mask if you are not sick.
Myth: Coronavirus is just like the common cold.
Fact: No, it is in the same family as the common cold, but it is believed that the COVID-19 virus originated with bats and later transferred to humans. Common cold viruses utilize humans as their primary hosts.
Myth: My pet can spread the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: There is no evidence that cats and dogs can be infected with this virus or spread it to humans.
This information has been reviewed and approved by Carrie A. Horn, MD, Charles L. Daley, MD, Gwen A. Huitt, MD, MS, Shannon H. Kasperbauer, MD (March 2020)
The information on our website is medically reviewed and accurate at the time of publication. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, information may have since changed. CDC.gov and your state’s health department may offer additional guidance.