As the pandemic persists, information on COVID-19 continues to evolve. The purpose of this article is to debunk popular COVID-19 myths, using accurate information rooted in science and backed by evidence.  

The NWHN is dedicated to providing readers with the best, most up to date information on COVID-19. You can check out our COVID-19 resource page for more information. 

First, if you possess symptoms such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, and loss of smell or taste, you should get tested for COVID-19. Testing policies differ for each state, so it is important to stay informed on your state’s COVID-19 resources. Some patients who experience symptoms for an extended period of time — often referred to as “long COVID”  — have struggled to have their condition taken seriously in the absence of a confirmed test result, so getting tested even for mild to moderate cases is important.

If your test comes back positive, remember to self-isolate and monitor your health for worsening symptoms. Worsening symptoms may manifest into trouble breathing, persistent pain in the chest, inability to stay awake and a bluish tint to face/lips. 

These facts, as outlined by the CDC, are undisputed, however, on the internet, information on COVID-19 is abundant and not all of it is accurate. 

Here are some of the internet’s most popular COVID-19 myths. 

True(ish): Sleeping on your stomach is helpful when you have COVID-19

Can sleeping on your stomach be effective when you have COVID-19? Well, sort of. Research suggests that sleeping on your stomach can be effective, but it depends on the severity of your case. Sleeping on your stomach opens your chest and relieves pressure on your lungs, allowing your lungs to properly fill when breathing. But if you’re having trouble breathing, don’t just rely on sleeping on your front. Trouble breathing is a sign of worsening symptoms and may require an immediate consultation with your doctor. If you are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, sleeping on your stomach will not hurt your recovery but it will not assist your recovery in any significant way. 

False: The COVID-19 vaccines are a risk to breastfeeding infants 

No, the COVID-19 vaccines are not harmful to breastfeeding infants. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that mRNA vaccines are dangerous to pregnant people, breast-feeding infants or unborn fetuses. With that said, it’s true that the first vaccine trials did not include pregnant people and the data is limited. New studies are underway and the experience of people who have gotten the vaccine so far is encouraging. If you are a pregnant individual or were recently pregnant, you are at higher risk for COVID-19 related health complications and therefore qualify for the vaccine. 

False: My sense of taste or smell will return to normal if I try the viral Jamaican Orange Remedy

Over the summer, a viral TikTok trend began to circulate the internet, claiming to revive the senses of taste and smell lost to COVID-19. The trend originated from a Jamaican remedy that suggests eating a burnt orange mashed with brown sugar can revive lost senses. Despite testimonials from people on the internet, there is no factual basis to this claim. Eating a burnt orange and brown sugar will not negatively affect your health, but do not expect your senses to suddenly reappear after one bite. 

False: Vitamin D and C supplements can be used to treat COVID-19

After former First Lady Melania Trump publicly commented on the steps she took to self-medicate while sick with COVID-19, the internet has been debating the effectiveness of vitamin supplements. Though harmless in normal quantities, there is no evidence which suggests that vitamin supplements, specifically vitamin D or C, have been effective in reducing COVID-19 symptoms or treating the virus. 

False: Bleach can be used to treat COVID-19

In April, former President Donald Trump suggested injecting bleach as a way to stop the virus. All credible healthcare professionals have denounced his advice, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has since issued a warning. While bleach can be used as a disinfectant against COVID-19, ingestion can be lethal. It is important to remember that bleach is poisonous. The consumption or injection of bleach, may result in respiratory problems, which is especially concerning for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 as the virus is a respiratory disease. 

False: Ingesting bleach and vinegar will cure COVID-19

Ingesting bleach and vinegar is a dangerous combination that will most likely result in death. The combination of bleach and vinegar creates chlorine gas, which is a highly noxious and lethal gas. In fact, research suggests vinegar is not even an effective disinfectant to use when cleaning spaces potentially contaminated with COVID-19. In short, DO NOT ingest vinegar and bleach. 

Remember, information on COVID-19 is abundant on the internet. It is important to use reliable sources when searching for facts on the pandemic. Look for references to studies whenever possible. Check out the NWHN’s COVID-19 Resource Page to learn more about the virus. 

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