Virus Covid-19 semakin berleluasa di seluruh dunia malah di Malaysia turut menunjukkan peningkatan bagi kes ini. Justeru, orang ramai dinasihatkan untuk berjaga-jaga bagi mengelakkan dijangkiti virus ini.
Baru-baru ini viral dakwaan yang mengatakan cuaca panas boleh membunuh virus Covid-19 sehingga ramai netizen percaya dengan kenyataan tersebut.
Bagaimanapun seorang doktor tampil menafikan kenyataan tersebut. Menurut posting Dr Rafidah di Twitter, beliau memberitahu yang cuaca panas tidak membunuh Covid-19.
Cuaca panas TIDAK membunuh COVID19.
My dear @BuletinTV3 , this is exactly what I mean.
Benda yang tak betul, diperbesarkan.
Is that responsible?
— Dr. Rafidah Abdullah (@rafidah72) March 12, 2020
Benda yang tak betul diperbesarkan, is that responsible ?
Tambahnya, beliau turut berkongsi posting yang dimuat naik oleh kawan baiknya, Dr Amalina Bakri mengenai virus Covid-19 ini. Boleh klik di sini.
Pada masa yang sama beliau menyarankan agar orang ramai tidak bertanya soalan ‘bodoh’ berkenaan Covid-19 malah sebaliknya tampil dengan soalan-soalan yang lebih matang
Kebanyakan netizen di ruangan komen Dr rafidah confuse berkenaan dakwaan mengatakan cuaca panas boleh membunuh virus Covid-19 kerana pihak yang menyampaikan maklumat juga merupakan golongan yang berpengetahuan.
Kami sebagai orang biasa nak percaya siapa lagi
Apa-apa pun sentiasa ambil langkah berjaga-jaga contohnya kerap basuh tangan, selalu guna hand sanitizer dan pakai topeng muka supaya dapat elak daripada macam-macam penyakit.
Dari blog Dr. Amalina, Ask Dr Amalina
Does heat kill COVID-19?
Many experts and scientists have warned that it is too early to tell and further studies need to be done.
People are claiming that hot weather may be able to kill or inactivate COVID-19, and there is a possibility that high temperature/hot weather can slow down the spread of the disease. There is a range of unproven claims including drinking hot water, taking hot baths, or using hairdryers. Ultimately they say exposing your body to high temperatures will kill or inactivate the virus and higher air temperatures making it harder for the virus to survive outside the body.
WHO officials have warned against making assumptions about Covid-19. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, has urged the public to not make assumptions that the epidemic (now pandemic) would automatically subside in the summer.
“We have to assume the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread, It is ‘a false hope’ to think Covid-19 will just disappear like the flu” said Dr Ryan.
Research Evidence and Expert Opinion
- There was a study by a group of researchers from Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, suggested that warmer summer weather could ‘slow down the global spread of the disease’ and that the ‘virus is highly sensitive to high temperature’ which could prevent it from spreading to warmer countries. However, This study was not peer-reviewed.
- Another study by the University of Maryland showed that cities and regions with similar weather patterns (5-11 degrees Celsius and 47-79% humidity) showed significant community spread.
- A separate study done by a group of researchers from Harvard (awaiting peer-review) including Professor of Epidemiology and Director, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mark Lipsitch found that transmission and rapid growth was possible in a range of humidity conditions from cold and dry provinces in China to tropical locations. Increase in temperature and humidity will not necessarily lead to a reduction of cases.
- Mark Lipsitch said “For the novel coronavirus COVID-19, we have reason to expect that like other betacoronaviruses, it may transmit somewhat more efficiently in winter than summer, though we don’t know the mechanism(s) responsible. The size of the change is expected to be modest, and not enough to stop transmission on its own.”
- According to David Heymann at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (article published in New Scientist), who led the global response to the SARS coronavirus outbreak in 2003 who said that “The MERS coronavirus has spread in Saudi Arabia in August, when it is very hot. These viruses can certainly spread during high temperature seasons. The risk of making predictions without an evidence base is that they could, if they prove to be wrong, be taken as verity and give a false security,”
- You can read a summary of other research studies and experts opinion here:
Closer to Home
In Malaysia, Prof Dr Norayati Abd Majid, has been making claims that hot weather or UV can kill COVID-19 in an interview with TV3. Although there might be some truth of what being said, there is currently not enough evidence to support that sun bathing under the sunlight can inactivate the virus.
Professor Sally Bloomfield of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has said that “To actively kill the virus, you need temperatures of around 60 degrees [Celsius]” and that currently it is not known if hot weather can inactivate COVID-19. Prof Bloomfield has also said that heating your body or exposing yourself to the sun in an attempt to kill the virus is completely ineffective.
Take home message
Ultimately, further research needs to be done before we can find a conclusive evidence.
So what can you do to prevent COVID-19 infection? Practice a good hygiene and wash your hands regularly. Please read my blog (click here) about how to prevent infection.
Examples of Fake News
- Unicef has released a statement on misinformation being quoted using their name. Charlotte Gornitzka of Unicef saying: “A recent erroneous online message…purporting to be a Unicef communication appears to indicate that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue.”