8 myths about Covid-19 to dispel

8 myths about Covid-19 to dispel

Beliefs and fake news on Covid-19 denied by scientific evidence. An excerpt from the book by Marco Ferrazzoli and Giovanni Maga of the CNR " Pandemic and infodemic – How the virus travels with information" (Zanichelli)

1. The new coronavirus is just a flu.

The Sars-Cov-2 virus belongs to the Coronaviridae family, while the influenza viruses to that of the Orthomyxoviridae. They are two completely different viruses, both from a genetic point of view and for the disease they cause, even if both attack the respiratory tract. Many viruses infect our airways, but with completely different mechanisms and consequences. The acronym Sars indicates, in fact, the ability of the new coronavirus to cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, potentially lethal in particularly fragile subjects.

2. Vitamin C and paracetamol are enough to cure Covid-19.

It is important for health to take the correct amount of vitamins through a correct and balanced diet, but doses higher than normal needs, taken for example through food supplements, can be harmful if you do not suffer from a specific vitamin deficiency. There is no scientific evidence that vitamin C, or other vitamins, have an antiviral action against Sars-Cov-2. Paracetamol is used to bring down fever but has no effect on viral infection. Sars-Cov-2 infection can seriously damage many organs, not only the lungs, but also the kidneys, intestines, heart, brain. Therefore, it must not be underestimated and must absolutely be treated with approved drugs and under strict medical supervision.

3. The SARS-Cov-2 virus is transmitted by mosquito bites.

Sars-Cov-2 is a coronavirus. No coronavirus is capable of infecting, and therefore being transmitted, by mosquitoes or other insects. Coronaviruses infect vertebrates exclusively: mammals and birds.

4. Masks do not protect against Sars-Cov-2 variants.

Thanks to their filtering capacity, the masks are a physical barrier that prevents the virus from entering our respiratory tract. They are effective in blocking all viruses that spread by air. Variants included, since the mode of transmission does not change: it always occurs through the inhalation of droplets of saliva or aerosol. Masks were widespread to combat epidemics even before Sars-Cov-2 and it takes great caution in predicting their disposal, which some think possible if we reach a high level of immunization: the example of Israel suggests caution.

5. If we all became infected, we would quickly achieve herd immunity.

This statement, which for the Covid-19 pandemic takes its cue from the so-called "British model", is likely in theory but inapplicable. Exposing 60% of the British population to the virus and calculating a mortality of 2%, there would be 200,000 deaths for every 10 million people; moreover, no health system could support the emergency of about 10% of patients who, on average, need intensive care. For this reason Alberto Mantovani, who defines certain proposals as "irresponsible", in March 2020 prefers to speak of "community immunity" rather than "herd immunity", where "the concept of solidarity" is inherent. And in fact it must be reached with vaccines, not with contagion. In this condition the disease becomes endemic, like seasonal flu, that is, it no longer produces important effects at least on the vast majority of subjects.

6. On the Internet there is a lot of information contrary to what "official" science says about Covid-19.

There is no more or less "official" science: for a result to be truly scientific it must pass a control based on authoritative reviewers (peer review) and enter a system shared by the international community that allows to measure its prestige, based on some indices such as impact factor, h-index, and others. On the net, however, there is information that says everything and the opposite of everything. These too can be partially verified, above all on the basis of the recognized authority of the source that disseminates them.

7. The vaccines approved against Sars-Cov-2 are still experimental and were approved quickly for economic interests, but they do not guarantee any safety.

The licensed vaccines have completed all the trial steps required for marketing authorization by the European Medicines Agency. Those currently used in Italy (Comirnaty by Pfizer-BioNtech, Vaxzevria by AstraZeneca, Spikevax by Moderna, Janssen anti Covid-19 vaccine) are therefore not experimental, but have completed a rigorous process that certifies their quality, safety and efficacy. The development of these vaccines was accelerated to cope with the emergency, thanks also to the fact that the technologies on which they are based were widely known and used. Certainly, some aspects of their effectiveness are not yet fully known, such as the duration of the immune response, but the choice to delay their availability would have led to a very high number of victims and sick people.

8. Vaccines cause disease and even autism.

No treatment, therapy and human activity in general is "zero risk", but the relationship between risks and benefits of approved vaccines is largely in favor of the latter. That said, the 'causal link' hoax between pediatric vaccinations and autism spectrum disorders arose from a scam article published in 1998 in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, and subsequently retracted, while its author was expelled from the British medical board. . The fake soon took hold because the symptoms of this syndrome usually manifest themselves in childhood, in the same years in which vaccinations are planned, but countless researches have shown that they are not the cause. Unfortunately, after so many years, the hoax still circulates and there are even sentences of compensation against health and in favor of parents of autistic children who rely on this inconsistent basis.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/8-miti-da-sfatare-sul-covid-19/ on Sat, 22 Jan 2022 07:09:43 +0000.