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19:45 PM

10TV: Busting COVID-19 Myths

1-30-20 10TV Dr Gastaldo phone bank




With all the questions and concerns floating around right now about the COVID-19 outbreak, it can be easy to fall victim to misinformation.

Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, sets the record straight and debunks some of the most common myths out there about COVID-19.

First of all, can antibiotics effectively treat and prevent this version of coronavirus? According to Gastaldo, this is one of the biggest assumptions people are making, and it’s absolutely false.

“Antibiotics are really useful at treating bacterial infections. This is a coronavirus,” Dr. Gastaldo told 10TV anchor and health reporter Tracy Townsend. “Antibiotics are completely ineffective at treating any type of virus. In the situation of coronavirus, when you get a respiratory virus, sometimes people can get a secondary bacterial infection. In that situation, the use of an antibiotic is indicated.”

This is commonly seen in flu patients. However, the key thing to remember is that if it’s not a bacterial infection, antibiotics aren’t going to help.

Another common myth is that COVID-19 mostly affects older people. In reality, the virus can infect anybody, regardless of age.

“Coronavirus does not discriminate against anybody based on their age,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “Based on the information so far out of China, people who have severe infections and lung inflammation have been people with other health conditions, like heart conditions, asthma and preexisting conditions. These are the same type of people who get sicker with the flu.”

But what about pets? Can they become infected and spread COVID-19? This one’s not true either.

“Our four-legged friends do not transmit this type of coronavirus. That has not been proven to be the case whatsoever,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “You also cannot get this type of coronavirus from objects produced in China that have been coming here to our country.”

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the situation a global emergency, national and local governments are taking measures to protect their citizens.

“Locally, we have a very robust State of Ohio Health Department and even our city of Columbus,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “I have the utmost confidence in our public health associates.”