This Article is From Feb 05, 2020

Flu Shots Can Prevent Coronavirus - This And Other Myths Busted

Coronaviruses: The death toll in China has reached to 490 while third case of coronavirus has been confirmed in India, again in Kerala.

Flu Shots Can Prevent Coronavirus - This And Other Myths Busted

Currently there is no vaccine available for coronavirus


  • Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO
  • If you had flu shots earlier, you could still get coronavirus
  • India's first coronavirus infection confirmed in Kerala

The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. The death toll in China has reached to 490 with the first fatality outside of China, in Phillipines. India on Sunday reported its second coronavirus case with another student who had returned to Kerala from Wuhan testing positive. WHO has asked countries to place emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread, and contributing to the international response though multi-sectoral communication and collaboration and active participation in increasing knowledge on the virus and the disease, as well as advancing research. 

Coronavirus: Myths about coronavirus you should not fall for

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronavirus outbreak is making major headlines accompanied by several myths and misleading information. Here are few myths about coronavirus swirling around on the internet.

1. Flu shots can prevent coronavirus

If you've taken flu shots earlier, you could still get coronavirus. Flu shots are not preventive against the coronaviruses. There is no vaccine for coronavirus yet. Scientists are still trying to develop a vaccine which can work against the virus.


Flu shots cannot help you prevent coronavirus
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Death Toll Hits 213; WHO Declares Global Health Emergency

2. Traditional medicines can treat coronavirus 

Social media posts have touted natural remedies like gargling with salt water, eating garlic cloves or having some Chinese medicines as potential treatment options for coronavirus. However, such rumours need to be dispelled as according to Dr. Laxman, "currently, there is no treatment available for coronavirus, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Treatment is only supportive for this virus, and viral infections have their own course and subside on their own. Make the patient comfortable and help in relieving the symptoms and make sure s/he takes proper care and eats the right kind of food which can boost immunity and prevent the infection from getting worse."

3. Healthy individuals are not at the risk

Many people believe that only those individuals with a weak immune system or with other respiratory issues are at risk of coronavirus. But everyone is at equal risk, even healthy individuals. Hence, it is important every individual protects him or herself by taking the necessary precautionary measures. 

4. Transmission from bat soup

A video of a woman eating bat soup has gone viral on the internet claiming that consumption of bat soup is the main reason behind the outbreak. But the video was shot four years ago. The transmission has been linked to snakes. "Reports indicate that snakes were sold in the local seafood market in Wuhan, raising the possibility that the 2019-nCoV might have jumped from the host species - bats - to snakes and then to humans at the beginning of this coronavirus outbreak. However, how the virus could adapt to both the cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts remains a mystery", explains Dr. Laxman.

Also read: Can Sea-Food Spread Coronavirus? This And Other Questions Answered

(Dr Laxman Jessani, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.