FALSE: Coronavirus can be 'eliminated' by high temperatures
Claim: A post on Facebook dated January 28 says that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) "will not last long" in the Philippines because of our warm climate.
"Wag po tayong mag-panic sa coronavirus. Ang bansang Pilipinas ay hindi tatagalan ng virus na ito dahil mainit na bansa tayo," said Facebook user Lita Jugo.
(Let's not panic over the coronavirus. The virus won't last long in the Philippines because we're a hot country.)
Jugo also recommended taking vitamin C and herbal medicine, staying under the morning sun for heat and vitamin D, and avoiding airconditoned places like malls. "Panatilihin ang katawan ay pinapawisan o naiinitan, ayaw ng coronavirus 'yan. Mapupuksa sila agad," she said.
(Make sure that your body is constantly sweating or hot, because the coronavirus doesn't like this. It will be eliminated right away.)
This claim was emailed to Rappler for checking. It has received 685 reactions, 86 comments, and more than 1,300 shares since it was posted.
The facts: The World Health Organization (WHO) has not said that temperature affects the spread of 2019-nCoV and they don't recommend exposure to heat as protection or a treatment for the virus.
On its website, the WHO said that there is no specific treatment for diseases caused by 2019-nCoV, but the symptoms can be treated. It added that "supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective."
Protection from the virus recommended by the WHO includes:
- Maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene
- Safe food practices
- Avoiding close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
At a press briefing on January 29, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the climate is not related to the spread of the 2019-nCoV. "[There is] no report or advisory coming from WHO to that effect. Whether it is less infectious or the cool weather in China at this time is helping propagate [the virus] is pure speculation,” Duque said.
The Philippines confirmed its first case of 2019-nCoV on January 30. The Department of Health is tracking the people that this patient came in contact with in Cebu and Dumaguete. (READ: Novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV: What we know so far) – Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com
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