- This article is written by Kane County Connects Editor Rick Nagel.
A relative of mine who lives here in Kane County recently forwarded a Facebook message he had received from a friend, with the subhead “Standford Hospital Internal Message.”
“Very interesting information,” the friend said. “Not sure why the media doesn’t talk about this instead of the doom and gloom stuff.”
The post appears to have some really helpful tips. The only problem is, it’s not from Stanford Health Care. And a lot of the information it contains simply is NOT true.
For example, the post circulating the internet suggests a “simple self-check test” is to hold your breath for 10 seconds: “If you complete it successfully without coughing or discomfort … it basically indicates no (coronavirus) infection.”
Doctors say that’s a myth.
“Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds also doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have coronavirus,” Dr. Robert Legare Atmar, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN.
Other myths in that short Facebook post alone:
- Coronavirus “hates the sun.”
- “If you you have a runny nose or spectum (sic), you have a common cold.”
- Drinking a lot of water will protect you.
- If you have the coronavirus, you’ll get pneumonia.
But those sites have so much information that searching for what you want to know is sometimes difficult or time consuming. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on those sites, there are some easy ways to check out facts of anything you read on social media.
A simple search with a few keywords or a question (Example: Is holding your breath a good test for coronavirus?) will help you find the specific information you’re seeking — and you can decide for yourself whether the source is reliable.
Sites like snopes can be really helpful in fact-checking.
“And, despite the warnings of your high school teachers, Wikipedia is your friend — especially if you jump to the references at the bottom and click on ones you recognize,” Time Magazine reports in an article titled, “How to Spot Coronavirus Information.”
- Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus Updates
- CDC Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Microsite
- Información sobre el Nuevo Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19)
- Updated CDC Travel Advisory 02/28/2020
- Kane County Health Department
CDC: What You Should Know