April 28, 2020 Healthy Living

CDPHP Mythbusters: COVID-19

As COVID-19 (or coronavirus) continues to affect the Capital Region, many of us are staying home and spending more time browsing the internet and our social media feeds looking for updates about the unfolding crisis.

While it is great to stay informed, it is even more important to separate COVID-19 fact from fiction. CDPHP wants you to be informed, safe, and secure. So we’ve pulled together some of the top trending COVID-19 myths and asked our team of doctors to weigh in.

Stay up to date on the ways CDPHP is helping members and the community during the pandemic and share this blog on social media and help keep your friends and family informed. Have a question or a myth that you want debunked? Comment below.

Myth: Taking zinc helps defend against CDVID-19.

Fact: As of today zinc hasn’t been proven to prevent infection.

Myth: I don’t need to wear a face mask in public.

Fact: Wearing a face mask in public keeps other people safe.

Myth: I do not need to wear rubber gloves when in public.

Fact: If you have them it is ok when going out and you expect to handle things. If gloves are not available, then it is important to wash your hands after touching surfaces. It is also important not to touch your face after touching any surface.

Myth: I am young so that means I won’t get COVID-19. 

Fact: Anyone can get COVID-19, but it affects the elderly the most.

Myth: I have a cough and a fever so I need to be tested.

Fact: Not necessarily. Local facilities are just testing severe cases. If you have significant shortness of breath, contact your primary care physician (PCP) for further instructions.

Myth: Elderberry syrup is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Fact: There is no official recommendation for this course of treatment as far as we know.

Myth: I should avoid Ibuprofen as treatment for coronavirus.

Fact: This is not confirmed, so at the moment it is ok to take Ibuprofen if needed.

Myth: DIY hand sanitizer really works and is effective.

Fact: Hand sanitizer has to have at least 60% alcohol to be effective.

Myth: I don’t have to wash my hands if I use hand sanitizer.

Fact: Hand sanitizer helps but is not a substitute for washing your hands with soap and water.

Myth: It doesn’t matter how long I wash my hands for.

Fact: It does matter. You should wash your hand for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Myth: I should rinse my hands with bleach if I do not have hand sanitizer.

Fact: Pouring bleach on your skin can cause irritation or chemical burns.

Myth: Dogs can contract and spread coronavirus.

Fact: Dogs cannot get or spread coronavirus.

Myth: If I hold my breath for 10 seconds, I can tell if I am sick before I show symptoms.

Fact: Holding your breath is not a test for COVID-19.

Myth: Blood type A is at higher risk of developing coronavirus.

Fact: It has been mentioned that people with Type A blood are more susceptible to COVID-19 but it is too preliminary to say.

Myth: Hydroxychloquine is a potentially safe and effective treatment for coronavirus

Fact: At the moment it is being considered as a form of treatment but there is not enough data to support it. This drug is extremely important for patients with lupus and we do not want to create a shortage of it.

Myth: It is unsafe to touch my mail or packages delivered to my house.

Fact: Wash your hands after handling mail to be safe.

Myth: Taking vitamin C will help prevent coronavirus.

Fact: Vitamin C will not prevent infection.

Myth: I am immune to COVID-19 because I had my flu shot.

Fact: The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19.

Myth: Coronavirus will die off once it gets warmer.

Fact: We do not know, but we expect that as weather gets better cases will subside. It is still important to social distance, even as the weather warms up, to prevent the spread.

Myth: If I get coronavirus and recover, I am then immune to it.

Fact: There has been a few cases of reinfection in China. At this point we do not know for sure.

Myth: If I am low risk, it is better to get it now and get it over with.

Fact: Because there is so much that is still unknown about the virus, the safest thing to do to protect yourself and those you love is to follow official recommendations and practice social distancing.

If you are worried about being at risk or think you have coronavirus symptoms, take a risk assessment from our partners at Doctor On Demand.

Meet our debunking doctors:

Pablo M. Lopez, MD joined CDPHP in August 2016 as medical director. In this role, Dr. Lopez supports the CDPHP case management team and is the chairperson of the CDPHP Credentials Committee. Prior to joining CDPHP, Dr. Lopez was a hospitalist at Ellis Hospital and a primary care physician at Ellis Family Practice Associates. He was also a family medicine preceptor at Albany Medical Center and Ellis Hospital.


Anthony Marinello, MD, PhD, joined CDPHP in 2018 and serves as Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Marinello spent more than 30 years practicing medicine, most recently at CapitalCare Family Practice in Clifton Park, NY.

Melissa Crosby
About the Author

Melissa joined CDPHP in 2015 as a marketing assistant. Her love of innovation and project management led her to the product innovation department, where she spent three years as a contract analyst drafting employer/member contracts, amendments, and riders to ensure that all materials comply with federal and New York state laws and regulations . With her knowledge of contracts, and member facing materials Melissa transitioned to a consumer experience analyst position where she analyzes internal and external processes, and communications to enhance our members experience. In her free time, she serves on the CDPHP Foundation Charity of Choice Committee, The Healthcare Literacy Committee, and as a wellness champion for CDPHP’s wellness team, and she annually supports the American Heart Association’s Capital Region Heart walk. In her personal time, she enjoys the outdoors where she rides her motorcycle, skis, ice fishes, kayaks, white-water rafts, hikes and bikes. Melissa also loves music, painting, upcycling wood furniture, trying new pursuits, and enjoying the simple things in life with her two children, Mason, 14 and Summer, 9.

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