Myth vs. fact: Tampa Bay doctor sets record straight on coronavirus

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A third person in Florida tested “presumptively positive” for the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the U.S. to 60.

Tampa dermatologist Dr. Seth Forman tells 8 On Your Side that while there is a lot of information being circulated about COVID-19, there are also several myths about the virus.

MYTH: Wearing a face mask will protect you from the coronavirus 

Fact: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams took to Twitter in late February, urging people to stop buying face mask saying “seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.” 

“The virus is small enough to where it can escape throughout the mask. It can go through the tissue or fabric that the mask is made of,” said Forman. “If you believe you have the virus or any virus for that matter, stay home and not expose other people to your sickness.” 

MYTH: Ordering products from China will make you sick

Fact: According to the CDC, the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and linked to a live animal market. 

The virus is now known to be spread from person-to-person.  

“Dry goods or goods that are delivered via Amazon or UPS or U.S. Postal Service is not a route to get affected,” said Forman. 

MYTH: The coronavirus is worse than the flu 

Fact: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the flu has more of an impact on Americans than COVID-19.  

The CDC estimates from Oct. 1, 2019, through Feb. 22, 2020, there have been 18,000 – 46,000 flu-related deaths. 

“The most important thing you can do is not overreact to what is going on right now. The basic step is to keep yourself healthy: go see your primary care doctor once a year. Be up to date with your flu shot or any other types of vaccinations. Please, keep yourself healthy,” said Forman.

Forman explained to 8 On Your Side the proper amount of time wash your hands:


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