Myth buster: 10 rumors about novel coronavirus

By Zhao Shiyue and Ma Chi | | Updated: 2020-03-10 07:30
Medical staff go over plans to treat an baby girl born to a COVID-19 infected woman in Chongqing municipality. [Photo provided to]

Claim: Pregnant women can transmit the virus to her child

Up to now, there have been no cases proving newborn coronavirus transmission.

A study published in the Lancet on Feb 12 cited nine pregnant novel coronavirus cases, with all the women giving birth to living and uninfected infants.

A pathogen can infect the fetus through placenta during pregnancy or through blood to a baby's broken skin or mucous membranes during delivery.

Claim: Wearing more than one mask will help prevent infection

Wearing thicker masks or two disposable surgical masks while trying to better prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus does not help and may cause breathing difficulty.

A coronavirus is only 10 nanometers in diameter and can only float in the air attached to other particles, like human droplets, which are much bigger. A mask can help stop the coronavirus if it stops the particles or droplets and a disposable surgical mask is good enough to do that.

Cotton masks, thicker than surgical masks, have bigger pores, which may allow the virus in. Even if it is stopped at the outer surface, the virus may filter inside due to the absorbency of cotton after the mask turns wet during use.

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