Fact or fiction: Coronavirus rumors swirl online

As officials learn more about the spread of coronavirus, fears and misinformation about the virus are spreading as well.

Posted: Feb 29, 2020 5:10 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 1:24 PM

EUGENE, Ore.-- As officials learn more about the spread of coronavirus, fears and misinformation about the virus are spreading as well. KEZI 9 News looked into some of these rumors so that you can better discern fact from fiction.

Are there any medicines or home remedies to boost coronavirus immunity?

Some people online are suggesting home remedies to improve your odds of not catching the virus, ranging from eating garlic to rinsing your nose with saline and spraying your entire body with chlorine or alcohol spray. 

According to the World Health Organization, these methods will not kill viruses in or around your body. In fact, they can be harmful in some cases. 

Others have suggested taking antibiotics to prevent or treat coronavirus. Experts say that antibiotics only work against bacteria, and are not effective against viruses, though those treated for coronavirus may receive antibiotics if hospitalized.

There is not currently any specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat coronavirus.

Conspiracy theories on the rise

Some have suggested that coronavirus was deliberately created and released, which experts and Johns Hopkins said is very unlikely. It is common for viruses to undergo changes in animals like pigs and birds before passing to humans, which is most likely where coronavirus originated. 

Posts online also call upon consumers to avoid purchasing goods produced in China. Experts say coronavirus isn't known to live long on surfaces. Products shipped from China are likely in transport long enough for viruses to die. As of now, officials believe the virus is transmitted by droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough.

What about local coronavirus rumors?

Rumors about coronavirus in Oregon have also been spread around social media.

One post claimed that Tigard business Biamp Systems laid off its entire workforce due to the virus. The audio-visual systems business said it's not true. They use contract employees and re-evaluate their employment needs based on market demands. The state agency that handles layoff notices in Oregon confirmed the rumor is false. 

Another post went viral early this week claiming the first case of coronavirus was found in a child who was taken to the Kaiser ER in Hillsboro. Officials with the Oregon Health Authority and Kaiser say the post is false. The first person believed to be infected was announced on Friday and is not a child.

RELATED: Gov. Brown: Washington County resident has coronavirus

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Data is updated nightly.

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