Geneva, February 5: The World Health Organisation or WHO has issued a public advisory over the ongoing outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in China's Wuhan city. As the deadly virus has so far claimed nearly 500 lives, the WHO listed protective measures that people should adopt. Besides, the global health agency also busted several myths being widely shared on social media regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus Turns People Into Zombies? Malaysia's Health Ministry Dispels 'Walking Dead' Rumour.
"Washing your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water kills the virus if it is on your hands," said the WHO in its advisory. It also asked people to cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue while coughing and sneezing, urging them to maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. Coronavirus Outbreak: Conspiracy Theories Floating on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp About Deadly Virus Spread.
About protective eating habits in view of the coronavirus outbreak, the WHO stated: "Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices."
Q: Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?
WHO: Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
Q: Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
WHO: At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
Q: Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
WHO: Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
Q: Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
WHO: No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
Q: Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
WHO: To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.