GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) “There are tons of rumors out there that are ridiculous and definitely not true and hopefully people realize that when they hear them,” said Dr. Andrea Kitta, East Carolina University English Professor.
Myths and misconceptions like COVID-19 is just like flu, children can’t catch coronavirus, that wearing a face mask will protect you from getting the virus. All myths.
Dr. Kitta has heard many more.
“Probably the one that kills me the most for sure is the one that drinking bleach will actually help it. Please don’t drink bleach that is a terrible idea,” said Dr. Kitta.
Kitta is an ECU English Professor studying how rumors and myths spread about wide-spread diseases.
“So, I actually heard that apparently people of Asian descent are supposed to be more susceptible to the virus whereas African Americans are less susceptible which is not true either there is no truth to that whatsoever,” said Dr. Kitta.
These misconceptions can have long term effects.
“We are looking at people actively avoiding Asians in this particular outbreak that’s really problematic,” said Dr. Kitta.
Health Director Wes Gray is also trying to dispel the tall tales.
He says only people sick with the virus — or medical professionals — should wear face masks.
Also, children can, in fact, can catch coronavirus.
And don’t believe that COVID-19 is just like the flu or that the flu shot will protect you from the coronavirus.
“I want to dispel that rumor because the flu is a similar pathogen the flu has about a 0.1 mortality rate and this has been shown to be 1.4% to 3.4% mortality rate so it’s at least a 10th percent greater danger than the flu,” said Wes Gray Martin, Tyrrell-Washington Health Department Director.