Can you self-check for Coronavirus? 

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#COVID19

Messages, like the one embedded below, have been circulating on social media of there being means by which people can diagnose COVID-19 infections by themselves, beyond the widely reported symptoms that have been corroborated by healthcare professionals around the world.

Messages that claim that there are methods to self-check for the Coronavirus have been shared via WhatsApp, Twitter (see above) and Facebook (see below).

MEANWHILE: AS RECEIVED: The new NCP coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days, how can one know if…

Posted by Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Curepe on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Background

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. While some may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea, it is important to know that around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 become seriously ill and develop difficulty in breathing

According to the Washington Post, an unreleased report by the US state department states that there has been “2 million tweets peddled conspiracy theories about the coronavirus over the three-week period when the outbreak began to spread outside China.”

Currently, there are 110,337 cases and 3,831 deaths as tracked by Worldometers, a website live-tracking the outbreak.

Verification

The messages circulating on social media platforms indicate that by the time a patient reaches the hospital, half of their lungs are filled with fibrosis; thus, too late to save them.

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, fibrosis of the lungs is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. To this date, there have been no official statements by the World Health Organization (WHO) that patients that have had coronavirus have had links to fibrosis.

The message also claims that Taiwan experts have provided a simple self-check that the public can do to determine if they have the Coronavirus. Taiwan Center for Disease Control officially states there are no vaccines to prevent the Coronavirus infections and the recommended steps are the same as for other respiratory viruses: handwashing and proper disposal of nasal secretions.

These official statements correspond to the same methods recommended by the WHO which advises people to wash hands regularly and maintain hygiene when interacting with the public.

Lastly, the message (see screengrab above) mentions that Japanese doctors advise the public to keep their mouth and throat moist and not dry. Moreover, if the virus gets in one’s stomach, liquids will wash it down where stomach acids will kill the disease, these messages allege.

There have not been any official statements from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare supporting this claim. The ministry advises the same procedures as all other official health organizations: “wash your hands frequently and to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.”

Verdict

While we cannot conclusively make a judgement on the veracity of claims that you can self-check for the strain of the Coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world, we can confirm that any claims of the same that are being attributed to Taiwanese and Japanese authorities, probably meant to give such claims some sort of credibility and air of authority, are FALSE.

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Mohamed Eltayeb

"I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against." ~ Malcolm X Passionate about humanitarian work, sports enthusiast, immersed in civil politics.