World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines cleared the myth that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) cannot survive long in the country because of our weather. On a Twitter post, the organization clarified that the "2019-nCoV has spread to countries with both hot and humid climates, as well as cold and dry." The agency also reminded everyone to follow precautions like washing hands and covering the mouth when sneezing and coughing wherever they are.
The rumor that the virus dies easily in tropical weather was started by a Facebook post by a user named Lita Jugo. The post has been shared more than 17,000 times as of the time of this writing.
This is just one of the many false information that WHO Philippines clarified on their string of Twitter posts. The organization also debunked the rumor that drinking alcohol can help protect someone from getting infected, the same as drinking regular water—though the latter remains important for overall health.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has also repeatedly called out to the public to stop spreading fake news. The agency also reminded everyone that they should only refer to public advisories and official announcements from DOH’s official website and social media channels.
The Philippines currently has three confirmed cases of 2019-nCov infection according to the DOH’s official tracker as of February 7, 2020. There are also 57 people who already tested negative to the disease and 155 more who are under observation and still waiting for their test results. Most recently, a Filipino in the UAE was also confirmed to have tested positive to the virus according to the Emirates News Agency.
The Philippines also has one reported death case due to the 2019-nCov—a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who visited Dumaguete and Cebu. It was the first recorded fatality related to the virus outside of China.
Follow Karen on Instagram.