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Medications For SARS And COVID-19 Are The Same? Misleading WhatsApp Forwards Go Viral

Claim

भाइयों काफी किताबों में ढूंढने के बाद बड़ी मुश्किल से कोरोना वायरस की दवा मिली है, हम लोग कोरोना वायरस की दवा ना जाने कहां-कहां ढूंढते रहे लेकिन कोरोना वायरस की दवा इंटरमीडिएट की जन्तु विज्ञान की किताब में दी गई है जिस वैज्ञानिक ने इस बीमारी के बारे में लिखा है उसने ही इसके इलाज के बारे में भी लिखा है और यह कोई नई बीमारी नहीं है इसके बारे में तो पहले से ही इंटरमीडिएट की किताब में बताया गया है साथ में इलाज भी। कभी-कभी ऐसा होता है कि डॉक्टर और वैज्ञानिक बड़ी-बड़ी किताबों के चक्कर में छोटे लेवल की किताबों पर ध्यान नहीं देते और यहां ऐसा ही हुआ है।

(किताब- जन्तु विज्ञान, लेखक- डॉ रमेश गुप्ता, पेज नं-1072)

भाइयों यह कोई फेक न्यूज़ नहीं है इसलिए मेरी आप से यह विनती है कि इस दवा को ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करें ताकि किसी कोरोना वायरस से ग्रसित मरीज का इलाज हो सके।

A WhatsApp forward has gone viral which claimed that a vaccine for coronavirus has been discovered. The viral forward also claims that the treatment for coronavirus is mentioned in an Intermediate Zoology book. The viral forward reads, “It is not a new disease as it is already mentioned in the Intermediate zoology book along with its treatment. It happens sometimes that many great scientists and doctors do not focus on lesser-known books as they are mostly busy with famous books. Book name: Zoology, Writer: Dr. Ramesh Gupta, Page No. 1072.) Friends, this is not fake news so I request you to kindly share it maximum so all coronavirus patients are treated in time.”

Verification

Novel coronavirus, a virus from the coronavirus family, has claimed about 13,407 human lives so far at the time of writing this report. India is seeing no respite in misinformation as there is a huge lack of awareness about the novel coronavirus. Many misleading videos from other countries and continents are being shared in the wake of a novel coronavirus, the latest one is about an Indian Zoology book which had allegedly published the vaccine for novel coronavirus years ago. As we began fact-checking this claim, using different combinations of keywords, we found a report published on an online portal that backs the aforementioned claim. 

आओ इसका पता लगाएं-कोरोना | G News Portal

प्रयागराज आओ इसका पता लगाएं कभी-कभी ऐसा होता देखा गया है कि वैज्ञानिक डॉ बड़ी-बड़ी लेखों और पुस्तकों के चक्कर में उलझे रह जाते हैं छोटे लेवल की लेखों और पुस्तकों पर ध्यान आकृष्ट नहीं कर पाते हैं ऐसा ही कुछ यहां होते दिख रहा है जैसा की इंटरमीडिएट की

As we searched further, we got one more such report where a clear image of the viral claim is published. We analysed the viral image and began our research on the same.

जंतु विज्ञान की किताब में कोरोना वायरस का उल्लेख, दवा भी

भीलवाड़ा। जिस कोरोना वायरस को लेकर दुनिया में अफरा-तफरी मची है, उसका उल्लेख 10वीं कक्षा की जंतु विज्ञान की एक किताब में किया गया है। किताब में दवा भी बताई गई है।हम बात कर रहे हैं इंटरमीडिएट की जंतु विज्ञान की किताब की। डॉ.

(The image of the viral page of the book where the treatment of the novel coronavirus is mentioned) 

The viral page talks about the causes behind the common cold and elaborates further on the same. The book claims that 75% of common colds are caused by the Rhinovirus and the rest 25% is caused by the Coronavirus. In the next paragraph, the writer also mentions the treatment for the coronavirus and lists them as ‘Aspirin, Anti-Histamines and Nasal Spray’.

To know more, we tried knowing more about the common cold, its causes and treatment. We found a pdf report released by the World Health Organization.

The above screengrab partially approves the claim about the causes of the common cold mentioned in the book. Asper this WHO report, there are several other causes of common cold apart from Rhinovirus and Coronavirus so the claim that there are only two causes of the common cold is partially false.

We tried to search for a treatment for the common cold. In the same pdf report as mentioned above, we found that the WHO doesn’t categorically specify a treatment for coronavirus.

In the same report, the WHO further throws more light on the treatment and their side effects of the medications for the common cold. However, it doesn’t necessarily endorse Aspirin, Antihistamines and Nasal Spray as the only medication for the common cold or the cold caused by a coronavirus.

We continued our research on coronavirus to know if the same novel coronavirus or Covid-19 was mentioned in the aforementioned Zoology book. Under WHO’s Q&A section, we found authentic information about our research topic.

An excerpt from the aforementioned report reads, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)

WHO is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly on WHO’s coronavirus pages. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

A complete WHO report on SARS can be viewed here.

Similarly, one such WHO report on MERS can be viewed here.

The medications and symptoms of SARS & MERS are listed below.

The symptoms and treatment of SARS can be viewed here.

The symptoms and treatments of MERS can be viewed here

It is noteworthy that the viral page of the book talks about the treatment of the cold because of coronavirus, it doesn’t talk about the medication for coronavirus and from what we can see above, the WHO doesn’t confirm the invention of any such vaccine for both SARS and MERS.

When we searched further, we found a research report published by Stanford University which throws more light on treating the symptoms of the common cold.

The Common Cold

Coronavirus and the Common Cold An Introduction to Preventing and Treating the Common Cold: What is it? Prevention Treatment Is there any hope for a cure? More common cold related sites The common cold is a virally related syndrome and has been associated with over 100 different viruses, including Human Coronavirus and Rhinovirus.

The research report suggests that Aspirin along with other Analgesics/Antipyretics can be helpful with the symptoms of common cold. It also suggests that Antihistamines can help with the common cold symptoms but their efficacy in treating the common cold has been questioned since their primary mode of action is on the histamine allergic response of the immune system.

Hence it is evident from our findings that the treatments mentioned in the viral page of the book are first of all not a treatment for coronavirus but a treatment for common cold caused by a coronavirus which is negated partially by various research reports so the viral claim that there is pre-existing medication for coronavirus, is ‘Misleading’.

Claim 2: कोरोना वायरस कोई  नई वायरस नहीं है।इसके बारे में तो  Lucents किताब में भी पहले ही दिया हुआ है। विज्ञान और प्रौद्योगिकी चैप्टर में page no 272 देख लीजिए।  सोर्स का जो वैक्सीन होगा वहीं वैक्सीन काम करेगा इसको ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर कीजिए

A viral WhatsApp forward claims that coronavirus is not a disease as it is already mentioned in a book namely Lucent on page no. 272 under ‘Science and Technology’ section. The vaccine for the new coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19) will be the same as that of the old coronavirus.

Verification

As we began fact-checking this claim, we first started reading the content of the viral screengrab and from what was obviously visible, the aforementioned viral image does not talk about Covid-19 but SARS which is a virus of the same family and was identified in 2003. 

It is noteworthy that the WHO clearly identifies Covid-19 and SARS as two different viruses of the same family so it is evident here that the virus being talked about in the viral page of Lucent is SARS not Covid-19.

As we searched further, we found that on the same Q&A page, the WHO has answered the question ‘Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?”. The WHO reply to this question reads, “No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different. SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.”

A study by Lonic on the differences between Covid-19 and SARS can be viewed below.

SARS Coronavirus 2 – LOINC

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019. The LOINC Component represents the analyte being tested for, which is why the Components include “SARS Coronavirus 2” rather than “COVID-19”. SARS-related coronavirus (SARS-related CoV) is a species of coronavirus in the sub-genus Sarbecovirus.

As it is evident from our findings above that the virus being talked about in the viral claim is not the novel coronavirus(Covid-19) but SARS, we now tried to check if the same vaccine which works for SARS can cure Covid-19. In our search for this query we found that the WHO has clearly negated the discovery of any vaccine that can cure Covid-19. In an answer to the question, “Are there any medicines or therapies that can prevent or cure COVID-19?”, the WHO replies, “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.” Replying to another similar question “Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?”, the WHO replies, “Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illnesses should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. (See Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus).”

Hence it is imperative from our findings that the claim of the treatments/vaccines of SARS and Covid-19 being similar is ‘False’.

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Result

Claim 1: Misleading

Claim 2: False

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Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.
Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

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