Coronavirus Newsbites

Misleading claim circulates on Facebook about dangers of face masks alongside photos of skin conditions
Five images have been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts which claim they show images of people suffering from skin problems that have been caused by wearing face masks. The claim is misleading; three of the images show cases of chickenpox, eczema, and rosacea unrelated to wearing face masks, while the other two relate to wearing face masks.

Misleading claims resurface online about hydroxychloroquine's efficacy against COVID-19
Facebook posts claiming France and South Korea have approved the use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of the novel coronavirus have surfaced online in Africa barely a month after Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based physician, claimed she had successfully treated more than 350 COVID-19 patients using the drug in combination. But these claims are misleading; authorities in both countries issued statements against the prescription of hydroxychloroquine on safety grounds months ago.

Fake WHO document shared in anti-mask posts
An image appearing to show an official World Health Organization (WHO) publication highlighting scientific research has been shared on social media in an attempt to prove the global health body does not recommend mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the WHO said the document did not originate from them and includes “cherry picked” studies. The agency -- like numerous other health bodies -- recommends mask wearing to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccine spread by ‘Plandemic’ video
A six-minute clip from the film titled “Plandemic: Indoctornation” seeks to raise fears about the vaccines that could help address the COVID-19 pandemic, and it makes misleading claims about the vaccines currently in clinical trials.

Republican senator Bill Cassidy tests positive for coronavirus
Republican senator Bill Cassidy has tested positive for Covid-19, after he was exposed to someone infected with the virus.

On Thursday, Mr Cassidy’s office announced that he had become just the second senator to have contracted coronavirus, after Republican Rand Paul tested positive for Covid-19 in April, according to CNBC.

The senator confirmed that he will now quarantine for 14 days and notify anyone he has been in contact with recently, but the 62-year-old did not reveal the severity of his symptoms.

Immune cells for common cold may recognize SARS-CoV-2
  • A study of blood samples taken before the COVID-19 pandemic showed that some people already had certain immune cells that recognize SARS-CoV-2.
  • These immune cells also reacted with coronaviruses that cause common colds.
  • The findings suggest that existing immune cells may help account for the wide range of symptoms experienced by people with COVID-19.