Coronavirus: fact checker

Just because a story appears online, doesn’t mean it is true. The internet is great, but it can also be used to spread misleading news and content. This information in this section is to help you to protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus. 

Fact: 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19

False information spread on social media has caused some people to believe that 5G technology causes coronavirus.

There is no evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus. These theories have been rejected by scientific experts in the World Health Organisation and Full Fact, a UK-based independent fact checking charity.

Viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks. Coronavirus is also spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.

Full Fact makes clear there is no evidence that 5G is harmful to humans and it is not accelerating the spread of coronavirus.

Ofcom has produced guidance to address the myths around 5G and coronavirus, while the UK’s mobile network operators (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) have issued a joint statement highlighting that there is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus.

Fact: COVID-19 is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria

The virus that causes COVID-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.

Some people who become ill with COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider.

There is currently no licensed medication to cure COVID-19. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance.

Fact: There are currently no drugs that prevent COVID-19

Work is currently ongoing to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19. There are a number of treatments that can improve the course of the illness in patients. Doctors have learned much about how to treat COVID-19 more effectively in a relatively short time.

Fact: The use of face coverings DOES NOT cause oxygen deficiency

The use of face coverings can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to oxygen deficiency. Make sure your face covering fits properly and that it is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally.

People should not wear face coverings when exercising, during strenuous exercise they may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.

Fact: Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous

Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs.

To protect yourself against COVID-19, disinfect objects and surfaces, especially the ones you touch regularly. Make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

FACT: People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus

Older people and younger people can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 

People of all ages should take steps to protect themselves from coronavirus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

If you’re not sure, don’t share it

Before you like, comment or share something about coronavirus online, use the SHARE Checklist to help spot false or misleading content.

Full Fact, is a UK-based independent fact checking charity that provides free tools, information and advice so that anyone can check any claims they hear or read online.

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