More COVID-19 myths and facts: Test your knowledge

An image of a hand holding cut outs of people and coronavirus molecules
Can you tell fact from fiction when it comes to coronavirus? (Images: Adobe Stock/Fawn Gracey, Boston Children's Hospital)

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, experts are learning more about COVID-19 every day, including how it’s spread, possible symptoms, and potential treatments. But with social media and the constant news stream, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. Test your knowledge of COVID-19 with our quiz.

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True or False? Drinking, gargling with, injecting, or bathing in disinfectant or bleach will kill COVID-19.

False. Although bleach and disinfectants are useful for cleaning germs on surfaces around your home, they are extremely dangerous if swallowed or used in your body. They will not kill COVID-19 in your body, but will harm your internal organs and can cause severe illness or death. With the exception of using hand sanitizer on your hands, you should not use any type of disinfectant on your body.

False. Although bleach and disinfectants are useful for cleaning germs on surfaces around your home, they are extremely dangerous if swallowed or used in your body. They will not kill COVID-19 in your body, but will harm your internal organs and can cause severe illness or death. With the exception of using hand sanitizer on your hands, you should not use any type of disinfectant on your body.

False. Although bleach and disinfectants are useful for cleaning germs on surfaces around your home, they are extremely dangerous if swallowed or used in your body. They will not kill COVID-19 in your body, but will harm your internal organs and can cause severe illness or death. With the exception of using hand sanitizer on your hands, you should not use any type of disinfectant on your body.

True or False? “Herd immunity” will soon protect us from the new coronavirus.
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False. Herd immunity occurs when most of a population is immune to a disease, either from exposure to it or from a vaccine. Infectious disease specialists say that to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19, at least 70 percent of a population must be immune. It is not known how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to COVID-19, but experts say it’s likely closer to 5 percent. To achieve herd immunity with such a deadly disease without a vaccine would risk overwhelming hospitals and many more deaths.

False. Herd immunity occurs when most of a population is immune to a disease, either from exposure to it or from a vaccine. Infectious disease specialists say that to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19, at least 70 percent of a population must be immune. It is not known how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to COVID-19, but experts say it’s likely closer to 5 percent. To achieve herd immunity with such a deadly disease without a vaccine would risk overwhelming hospitals and many more deaths.

False. Herd immunity occurs when most of a population is immune to a disease, either from exposure to it or from a vaccine. Infectious disease specialists say that to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19, at least 70 percent of a population must be immune. It is not known how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to COVID-19, but experts say it’s likely closer to 5 percent. To achieve herd immunity to such a deadly disease without a vaccine would risk overwhelming hospitals and many more deaths.

True or False? Fever and cough are not the only symptoms of COVID-19.
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True. While fever and cough are common signs of COVID-19 disease, there are also many other symptoms. These may include:
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• chills or shaking
• muscle pain
• headache
• sore throat
• loss of taste or smell

There may be other symptoms as well. Children generally have similar symptoms to adults, but their symptoms may be milder.

True. While fever and cough are common signs of COVID-19 disease, there are also many other symptoms. These may include:
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• chills or shaking
• muscle pain
• headache
• sore throat
• loss of taste or smell

There may be other symptoms as well. Children generally have similar symptoms to adults, but their symptoms may be milder.

True. While fever and cough are common signs of COVID-19 disease, there are also many other symptoms. These may include:
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• chills or shaking
• muscle pain
• headache
• sore throat
• loss of taste or smell

There may be other symptoms as well. Children generally have similar symptoms to adults, but their symptoms may be milder.

True or False? If you get COVID-19 once, you can’t get it again.
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Unknown. Experts still don’t know for certain if someone who is infected with COVID-19 will develop immunity to the illness. Based on research from other types of coronaviruses, it’s not likely that the person would be re-infected right away, but it is not yet known how long immunity might last.

Unknown. Experts still don’t know for certain if someone who is infected with COVID-19 will develop immunity to the illness. Based on research from other types of coronaviruses, it’s not likely that the person would be re-infected right away, but it is not yet known how long immunity might last.

Unknown. Experts still don’t know for certain if someone who is infected with COVID-19 will develop immunity to the illness. Based on research from other types of coronaviruses, it’s not likely that the person would be re-infected right away, but it is not yet known how long immunity might last.

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True or False? You should wear a face covering while jogging, cycling, hiking, or exercising outside.

True. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends all Americans wear a mask or other face covering in all public settings where it might not be possible to stay at least 6 feet apart. This is because people who have COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms can still spread it by speaking, sneezing, or coughing. And in Massachusetts, it’s now required to wear a face covering while in public areas. Bottom line, if you’re exercising in an area where you might see other people, cover your nose and mouth.

True. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends all Americans wear a mask or other face covering in all public settings where it might not be possible to stay at least 6 feet apart. This is because people who have COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms can still spread it by speaking, sneezing, or coughing. And in Massachusetts, it’s now required to wear a face covering while in public areas. Bottom line, if you’re exercising in an area where you might see other people, cover your nose and mouth.

True. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends all Americans wear a mask or other face covering in all public settings where it might not be possible to stay at least 6 feet apart. This is because people who have COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms can still spread it by speaking, sneezing, or coughing. And in Massachusetts, it’s now required to wear a face covering while in public areas. Bottom line, if you’re exercising in an area where you might see other people, cover your nose and mouth.

True or False? You can catch COVID-19 from mail or packages.
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Unlikely. Although COVID-19 can survive for a short time on some surfaces, according the CDC, “it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging.” However, there’s a small chance you could get COVID-19 if mail or packages have the virus on them and then you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. To be safe, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol after collecting mail or packages.

Unlikely. Although COVID-19 can survive for a short time on some surfaces, according the CDC, “it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging.” However, there’s a small chance you could get COVID-19 if mail or packages have the virus on them and then you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. To be safe, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol after collecting mail or packages.

Unlikely. Although COVID-19 can survive for a short time on some surfaces, according the CDC, “it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging.” However, there’s a small chance you could get COVID-19 if mail or packages have the virus on them and then you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. To be safe, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol after collecting mail or packages.

True or False? You need to disinfect your groceries.
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False. Just like with mail, experts say it is unlikely that you can catch COVID-19 from food packaging. And it can be dangerous to put disinfectant directly on your food. Most experts say that the best way to protect yourself is to:
• Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol after leaving the grocery store.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home from the grocery store.
• Wash your hands again after putting groceries away.
• Rinse fruits and vegetables before you cook or eat them.

False. Just like with mail, experts say it is unlikely that you can catch COVID-19 from food packaging. And it can be dangerous to put disinfectant directly on your food. Most experts say that the best way to protect yourself is to:
• Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol after leaving the grocery store.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home from the grocery store.
• Wash your hands again after putting groceries away.
• Rinse fruits and vegetables before you cook or eat them.

False. Just like with mail, experts say it is unlikely that you can catch COVID-19 from food packaging. And it can be dangerous to put disinfectant directly on your food. Most experts say that the best way to protect yourself is to:
• Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol after leaving the grocery store.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home from the grocery store.
• Wash your hands again after putting groceries away.
• Rinse fruits and vegetables before you cook or eat them.

True or False? If you test positive for antibodies you can’t get COVID-19 again.
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False. An antibody test is a blood test that can tell if you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, because this virus is so new, experts don’t yet know if the antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 infection will provide immunity from future infection or how long any immunity would last.

False. An antibody test is a blood test that can tell if you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, because this virus is so new, experts don’t yet know if the antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 infection will provide immunity from future infection or how long any immunity would last.

False. An antibody test is a blood test that can tell if you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, because this virus is so new, experts don’t yet know if the antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 infection will provide immunity from future infection or how long any immunity would last.

True or False? You can disinfect your cloth mask by putting it in the microwave.
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False. The proper way to clean a cloth mask is to wash it in the washing machine. Surgical masks and N95 masks are not meant to be cleaned at home, and the microwave is not effective for this purpose.

False. The proper way to clean a cloth mask is to wash it in the washing machine. Surgical masks and N95 masks are not meant to be cleaned at home, and the microwave is not effective for this purpose.

False. The proper way to clean a cloth mask is to wash it in the washing machine. Surgical masks and N95 masks are not meant to be cleaned at home, and the microwave is not effective for this purpose.

True or False? The coronavirus is more contagious than the flu.
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True. Although the virus is still new, the CDC says based on current information COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu, though not as contagious as measles.

True. Although the virus is still new, the CDC says based on current information COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu, though not as contagious as measles.

True. Although the virus is still new, the CDC says based on current information COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu, though not as contagious as measles.

True or False? Home remedies can cure or prevent the virus.
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False. You may have heard about people trying home remedies —herbal therapies, essential oils, teas, tinctures, and colloidal silver — to prevent or to treat COVID-19. However, there is no scientific evidence that any of these products work, and some may not be safe for you to use. Until then, follow the CDC’s guidance for prevention and treatment.

False. You may have heard about people trying home remedies —herbal therapies, essential oils, teas, tinctures, and colloidal silver — to prevent or to treat COVID-19. However, there is no scientific evidence that any of these products work, and some may not be safe for you to use. Until then, follow the CDC’s guidance for prevention and treatment.

False. You may have heard about people trying home remedies —herbal therapies, essential oils, teas, tinctures, and colloidal silver — to prevent or to treat COVID-19. However, there is no scientific evidence that any of these products work, and some may not be safe for you to use. Instead, follow the CDC’s guidance for prevention and treatment

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Take our previous COVID-19 quiz and get more answers about Boston Children’s response to COVID-19.

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