COVID-19: Holding breath, hot weather does not prevent transmission – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says holding breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does not mean an individual is free from the COVID-19 disease.

WHO in a statement on Sunday said that the best way to confirm if an individual has the virus was through a laboratory test. “You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous,” WHO said.

It added that evidence had shown that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid weather. “Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19.

“The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. “By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose,” it said.

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The health agency noted that taking a hot bath does not prevent COVID-19, adding that normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of the bath or shower.

“Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you,” it said. It stresses that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites, saying there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.

READ ALSO:COVID-19 cases top 200,000 globally, death toll over 8,000 – WHO

“The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. “To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing,” it said.

WHO warned that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body would not kill viruses that have already entered the body, adding that spraying such substances could be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes like eyes and mouth.

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It added that both alcohol and chlorine could be useful to disinfect surfaces, noting that the use should be under appropriate recommendations.

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