Perceived Myths and Misconceptions about the Novel COVID-19 Outbreak

Michael Abiola Okunlola, Emmanuel Lamptey, Ephraim Kumi Senkyire, Serwaa Dorcas, Benita Aki Dooshima


The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) which was first reported in Wuhan, China has now spread globally becoming a matter of international concern. The World Health Organization officially changed their classification of the situation from a Public Health Emergency of International Concern to a Pandemic on March 11, 2020. As the corona virus continues to spread rapidly so do the headline news and a host of misconceptions surrounding the outbreak. This paper investigated and highlighted some of the most common misconceptions surrounding the outbreak of the covid-19. Using a cross-sectional survey method, the study collected and analysed data on these misconceptions and examined factors that influence the levels of these misconceptions. The study identified four top misconceptions respondents believe or agree with. These are; the novel corona virus is deadly (83.3%), Hand sanitizers do kill the virus (67.5%), face mask offer protection against the virus (55.8%) and Drying the hands with hand dryer helps to prevent the virus (44.2%). However, respondents were able to disagree, identify correctly and debunked certain statements of misconception. These include coronavirus affect only the elderly (95%), the virus can spread by mosquito bites (87.5%), antibiotics are effective for treatment (60%) and homemade remedies can cure the corona virus (54. 2%). Factors such as employment status and the relatedness of respondent’s occupation to Human Health were found to influence some of these misconceptions. Exploring these misconceptions keep the general public fully educated and informed about the facts of the outbreak as well as avoiding making up these misconceptions to protect themselves.


COVID-19 Outbreak; Myths and Misconceptions; West Africa.


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DOI: 10.28991/SciMedJ-2020-0203-1


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