COVID-19

Coronavirus myths: what you need to know about beating the virus

March 30, 2020

There are many myths online. Here is some information to help you and your family learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus myths: what you need to know about beating the virus

Will I know if I have the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Not necessarily. While many people get the disease and have a very severe case, far more people will have a mild disease. The symptoms overlap with many other problems such as influenza, the common cold, and even seasonal allergies. If the symptoms don't include fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, then you should just follow usual guidelines. Usual guidelines when sick include staying home, resting, and drinking lots of fluids. If the symptoms include the risk factors noted above, contact your doctor. You may need to be tested.

Does everyone who gets the coronavirus (COVID-19) die?
Actually, nearly everyone in the US survives. Over 156,000 people across the world have survived. In the United States the survival rate is about 99%. However, we have many people that get very sick from a COVID-19 infection. Many people have been hospitalized, and some were even in the intensive care unit, so taking proper cautions is critical. If you are an older adult, or have a history of serious underlying medical conditions like cardiac or lung disease, or diabetes, you are at particularly high risk for more severe illness related to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you fall into this group, you should be even more careful and contact your clinician if you begin experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath.

If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, is it true that you don’t have coronavirus?
Unfortunately, and contrary to some information on social media, there is absolutely no evidence to support this myth. If this were true, there would be no need to have lab testing. Please contact a medical professional if you are worried you are ill. Healthcare professionals will conduct a coronavirus (COVID-19) screening to assess your risk of the disease. Based on your screening, or risk assessment, your healthcare provider will determine if you need to be tested.

Check-mark iconRemember how to protect yourself and what you should do if you think you have symptoms

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid social gatherings of greater than 10 people and practice social distancing

What should I do if I think I may have symptoms or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Contact your physician: If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal physician. Also, anyone who thinks they may have had contact with someone who is being tested for, or is confirmed to have COVID-19, should call their doctor’s office.
  • Consider online care: To help prevent the spread of disease and meet the needs of our patients and the communities we serve, Ascension is helping to improve access to care from the comfort of your own home. For online urgent care from your computer or mobile device, Ascension Online Care is available 24/7. Visit ascension.org/onlinecare.
  • Medical emergency: If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency or if you are experiencing severe symptoms requiring immediate attention, go to the ER or dial 911.