Skip links and keyboard navigation

Can sunbathing, essential oils, or garlic stop you catching coronavirus (COVID-19)? No, but good hygiene and social distancing can. So, let the myth-busting begin.

1. Alternative remedies cannot protect against COVID-19

You might have read things like lots of garlic, extra vitamins or essential oils can stop you from catching COVID-19. This isn’t true. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to maintain good hygiene and social distancing. Read more about COVID-19 prevention.

2. COVID-19 does not only affect older people

People of all ages can get COVID-19. In fact, 20-29-year-olds are experiencing the highest rate of infections when compared to any other age bracket and face potential long-term health effects from it. However, based on what we know about coronaviruses, there are several groups who are most at risk of serious infection. This includes:

  • people aged 70 and over
  • people with pre-existing conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or a compromised immune system)
  • people 65 and over with pre-existing conditions
  • First Nations people 50 and over with pre-existing conditions.

3. Wearing gloves will not protect you

You don’t need to wear gloves to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. In fact, wearing gloves could contribute to the spread of the virus. Germs you pick up on your gloves can be transferred to other surfaces. You might also touch your face while wearing the gloves which can transfer any germs on the gloves to you and cause you to become sick.

4. You don’t need to shower and change after coming home

Changing clothes or showing when you get home is only needed if you work with people who have or may have COVID-19. However, it is a good idea to use hand sanitiser before arriving home and to wash your hands thoroughly once you’re inside.

5. Hot or cold weather cannot stop the spread of COVID-19

The virus can be transmitted in any weather, from hot and humid to freezing cold. So regardless of the temperature, protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19 by maintaining good hygiene and social distancing.

6. Hand dryers don’t kill COVID-19

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), hand dryers do not effectively kill COVID-19. But while you’re in the bathroom, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before drying them well.

7. You don’t need to disinfect your groceries

You do not need to disinfect things you buy from the supermarket, though it is a good idea to wash fruit and vegetables in tap water. It is recommended you do wipe down frequently used surfaces in your home with household cleaners. Read more on slowing the spread of germs in your home here.

8. Drinking alcohol cannot protect you against COVID-19

Harmful levels of alcohol use increase your risk of health problems and may have a negative impact on your immune system. You can read more about the effects alcohol has on your body here.

9. Thermal scanners cannot detect COVID-19

Thermal scanners can detect fever (high body temperature) in people, but they cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. While a fever is one symptom of COVID-19, having a fever does not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. Likewise, having no fever doesn’t always mean you don’t have COVID-19.

10. Drinking bleach and other disinfectants cannot protect you from COVID-19

Bleach and many disinfectants are poisonous. They should never be drunk, ingested or sprayed onto your body as they can cause serious harm or even be fatal. They are great however for disinfecting surfaces that may have coronavirus particles on them.

If you know someone has ingested bleach or disinfectant, call the Queensland Poisons Helpline immediately on 13 11 16 for emergency advice.

11. You cannot get COVID-19 from mosquitos or flies

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. Respiratory viruses are mainly spread through droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets from the nose. There is no current evidence to show that the virus can be transmitted by mosquitoes or house flies.

12. Antibiotics cannot treat or prevent COVID-19

Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, only against certain bacteria.

13. There are no drugs that can prevent or treat COVID-19

At this time, there are no drugs or medicines that prevent or treat COVID-19. This includes hydroxychloroquine. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious illness and could be fatal.

Around the world, researchers and clinicians are racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine human trials began in Queensland in June 2020.

14. Pneumonia vaccines do not protect against COVID-19

Vaccines against pneumonia, such as Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine, do not provide protection against COVID-19.

Myths busted

It’s pretty clear, there is a lot of information out there about coronavirus, but not all of it is accurate. So make sure you’re getting correct information from credible sources such as Queensland Health.

Please remember to maintain good hygiene and practice social distancing. Read more about protecting yourself from COVID-19 here.