Romano Law Nurse Corner #10
LATEST COVID-19 MYTHS DEBUNKED
Another week living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numbers are rising in many states. Time is both flying and standing still as we are faced with continued spread of this deadly disease. The debate about returning to in person school rages on with no realistic solutions. We are all taking in volumes of information, some true, some not true. Not surprisingly, much of this information seems to have some political spin on it given the pending election. While we have touched on myths and inaccuracies of information in prior blogs, we feel that revisiting scientific and medical untruths on a regular basis is important.
The Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 was just as bad.
No. According to the CDC, in 2009, there were many typical H1N1 viruses around. When the H1N1pdm09 virus (Swine Flu) emerged, few young people had immunity while one third of people over 60 had antibodies against the virus, which was believed to have come from exposure to other H1N1 viruses in their lives. Vaccinations against seasonal flu did nothing to protect against the new virus. It spread and became a global pandemic.
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic originated in the US before spreading around the world, although later studies indicate it may have started in Mexico. It is estimated that between April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, an entire year, there were 60.8 million H1N1 cases including 274,304 hospitalizations and 12.469 deaths in the U.S. Worldwide death estimates show somewhere between 151,700 to 575,400 deaths occurred during the first year with an unusual amount of those deaths in people younger than 65. By August of 2010, the World Health Organization declared an end to the pandemic. The H1N1pdm09 virus continues to circulate as a seasonal flu virus causing hospitalizations and deaths every year.
Fast forward to now- and COVID-19 with astounding numbers in half of the time. Worldwide numbers for COVID-19 since February 1, 2020 show cases have been reported in 216 countries/territories with 14,263,202 confirmed cases and 602,244 deaths. In terms of the United States, the death toll thus far is 143, 157 as of July 20, 2020.
To repeat, just looking at death for the initial year of the H1N1 09 pandemic, 12,469 Americans died. Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic 143,157 Americans have died. This virus is still spreading and many people are still dying. The numbers alone show the real danger of this virus we are fighting.
Wearing Masks can cause CO2 poisoning.
NO. It cannot. While wearing a mask can be uncomfortable for some people, it does not cause an oxygen deficiency or carbon dioxide intoxication, a condition where too much CO2 builds up in the bloodstream. Common sense says that if this were the case, medical providers and first responders would not be using them every day as they have been for many years without problem.
COVID-19 is just a mutated form of the common cold.
NO. Coronavirus is part of a larger family of viruses that includes many diseases. It does have similarities with the other known cold causing coronaviruses, 5 of them, all of which have spiked protein projections on their surfaces which they use to infect cells. Four of these identified coronaviruses utilize humans as their primary host. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is believed to have originated in bats, sharing 90% of its genetic material with coronaviruses that infect bats. Evidence has suggested that COVID-19 originated in bats and hopped to humans.
COVID-19 was made in a lab.
Not likely. This virus resembles two other coronaviruses that have triggered outbreaks in recent times, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV-2, also believed to have jumped from infecting animals to humans. Some scientists have studied this using computer simulation in which COVID-19 performed poorly indicating that if you wanted to make a virus, you would not have chosen this one.
Kids can’t catch the coronavirus.
NO. Kids can catch COVID-19 although serious illness in children is less likely than with adults. A CDC study of more than 1.3 million cases of COVID 19 in the United States from January through May found that the rate of confirmed infections in children under age 9 was 52 cases in 100,000 people in that population of children compared to the average of 400 cases per 100,000 people in the US population as a whole. Although rare, there are also cases of children with an inflammatory syndrome called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS, see prior blog). Children need to be protected as much as possible from COVID-19 as evidenced by the current debate regarding in person school resumption.
If you have coronavirus, “you’ll know”.
NO, Not necessarily. COVID-19 has shown itself in many different ways similar to other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. Common symptoms include fever, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle or body aches, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting. There have been reports of asymptomatic to mild infection with COVID-19. There is just no way to be sure without testing.
The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu.
NO, it is not. Thus far, it appears to be far more deadly than the flu. It's important to note that there is no one death rate for COVID-19; the rate can vary by location, age of person infected and the presence of underlying health conditions. However, according to most credible research, the death rate of COVID-19 is higher than that of the seasonal flu, which has an estimated death rate in the US of around 0.1%. In contrast, many studies estimate that around 0.5% to 1% of people infected with COVID 19 will die from the disease. Let’s not forget that for those who survive many have significant rehabilitation needs and the long term outcomes are not yet known.
Drinking bleach and other disinfectants can protect you from COVID-19.
NO. NO. NO. This is completely ridiculous and outright dangerous. Do not drink these products or spray them on your body, they can be poisonous if ingested and damage skin and eyes if sprayed.
5G networks can spread COVID-19.
NO. Viruses, including COVID-19, cannot travel on or transmit through radio waves or mobile networks. This virus is spread mainly through respiratory droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs sneezes or speaks, as well as through contaminated surfaces. COVID-19 spreads in countries that do not have 5G networks.
The full story of COVID-19 is evolving. Its lasting effects to those who have recovered from the virus are just emerging and anecdotes can be found all over social media. We do know for sure that wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is the best defense we have against COVID-19. We must all continue to do our part to protect ourselves, each other and our communities. We are all in this together.
We are Susan Ramsey and Amie Goldberg, both practicing attorneys and nurses here at the Romano Law Group. Here is a little more about each of us:
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.