News What are coronavirus symptoms? We put COVID-19 under the microscope to bust some myths
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What are coronavirus symptoms? We put COVID-19 under the microscope to bust some myths

What would you ask Australia's best medical officials about coronavirus? Photo: Getty
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You’ve probably heard people saying coronavirus is just like the flu, and that you’re less likely to get it.

Or that face masks don’t work.

Perhaps some savvy panic-shopper told you two-ply is better in a pandemic.

Two things are certain: The coronavirus will continue to spread, and along with it will come waves of misinformation.

Welcome to 2020.

Before you start building a bunker, let’s bust five common corona-confusion points and put an end to some misinformation.

If someone you live with needs to isolate, should you?

In short, get out, if you can.

If you can’t, take precautions.

Straight from the Australian Health Department: “Only household members who are essential for caring for you should stay in the home.

“Other people living in the home should consider staying elsewhere if possible.”

If that’s not feasible, you should stay in a different room or separate as much as possible, it said.

“You should use a separate bathroom, if available. Avoid shared or communal areas, and wear a surgical mask when moving through these areas.

“Surfaces in shared areas such as door handles, taps and benches should be cleaned daily with household disinfectant or a diluted bleach solution.”

‘It only kills the oldies, don’t stress’

Aside from just being a bit rude – this isn’t entirely correct.

Let’s be very clear – most people who are young, fit and healthy, with no underlying medical conditions will not become severely ill from COVID-19.

But just because you are in that demographic, doesn’t mean you should be flippant about your hygiene – or your health.

The young, fit and healthy are a crucial demographic for fighting the coronavirus because even they can be carriers and pass it on to the more vulnerable.

If you need to self-isolate, do it properly, and as always, wash your hands.

You’re keeping yourself safe – and helping to keep other people alive.

‘You need that extra roll of toilet paper’

If you had shares in toilet paper, you would have welcomed this panic-buying like a pig in mud.

But we need to stop stripping the shelves bare.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles last week made it clear, if you’re stuck at home and in a messy bind – the Red Cross will help you out.

“If you are under our instruction, self-isolating for that period of 14 days, then you will have support,” Mr Miles said.

“If you run out of toilet paper, the Red Cross will be able to assist you to get toilet paper. There’s no need to be stockpiling toilet paper.”

‘Face masks don’t work’

Honestly, a mask just won’t cut it.

Viruses, including COVID-19, can transmit through eyelids and have tiny particles that get through masks.

There are some situations where they’re helpful.

If you’re going to be in close contact with someone infected, a mask can reduce your chances of catching the virus, but it won’t offer 100 per cent protection.

‘The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu’

In many ways, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to seasonal flu.

But there are a few clear differences.

The Australian Academy of Science put together this explainer to clear all this up. Watch it below.

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