DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/issn.2454-2156.IntJSciRep20205496

Public’s view on myths related to COVID-19: a web-based cross-sectional study in Nepal

Deeependra Prasad Sarraf, Shashi Keswhar, Pramendra Prasad Gupta

Abstract


Background: The global pandemic COVID-19 has created havoc. Various myths prevail among public that hamper them from adopting evidence based preventive measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to seek timely health advice. The aim of the study was to find out the public’s view on myths related to COVID-19 in educated Nepalese population.

Methods: A cross-sectional web-based online survey was conducted in educated public in Nepal during May, 2020. A self-designed questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic variables and 21 myths was prepared using Google forms via docs.google.com/forms. The responses were recorded on a 3-point scale (agree, disagree, do not know). The Google form link was sent to the study participants via the social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber. Descriptive statistics mean, frequency and percentage were used to analyze the data using SPSS version 22.  

Results: Out of 270, 33.7%, 33.3% and 37% participants agreed that eating lemon, turmeric and garlic prevents us from COVID-19 respectively. Thirty seven percent participants believed that spraying bleach or disinfectant into our body will protect us against COVID-19. The overall view of participants toward the myths related to COVID-19 was ‘agree’ (17.3%), ‘disagree’ (59.2%) and ‘don’t know’ (23.5%).

Conclusions: Myths regarding COVID-19 prevailed among majority of the participants in this study. There is an urgent need to educate the public regarding various preventive approaches for COVID-19 issues. Media and government agencies have a vital role in creating awareness to adopt evidence-based facts.


Keywords


COVID-19, Myths, Nepal, Public, View

Full Text:

PDF

References


COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Worldometer. Available at https://www.worldometers.info/ coronavirus/#countries. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

World Health Organization (2020a) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report—68. World Health Organization. Available at https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situationreports/20200328-sitrep-68-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn¼384bc74c_2. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

Schuchat A, Bell BP, Redd SC. The science behind preparing and responding to pandemic influenza: the lessons and limits of science. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;52(1):S8–12.

Ioannidis JPA. Coronavirus disease 2019: the harms of exaggerated information and non-evidence-based measures. Eur J Clin Invest. 2020:e13223.

Debunking Myths about COVID-19. The Rising Nepal, 22 March, 2020. Available at https://risingnepaldaily.com/opinion/debunking-myths-about-covid-19. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

Sahoo S, Padhy SK, Ipsita J, Mehra A, Grover S. Demystifying the myths about COVID-19 infection and its societal importance. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;54:102244.

Journalism, press freedom and COVID-19. World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development. UNESCO, 2020. Available at https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/unesco_covid_brief_en.pdf. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

Youth arrested for spreading romours of COVID-19 cases. The Himalayan Times. 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

Army dismisses 'helicopter spraying disinfectant at midnight' rumours. The Himalayan Times. 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Accessed 04 on July 2020.

Adhikari D. PM advises misleading remedies against COVID-19. Available at https://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/pm-advises-misleading-remedies-against-covid-19/. Accessed on 04 July 2020.

Dotinga R. Health Professionals Fight against COVID-19 Myths, Misinformation. Available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/926744. Accessed on 30 June 2020.

Kiran GB, Pachava S, Sanikommu S, Simha BV, Srinivas R, Rao VN. Evaluation of dent-o-myths among adult population living in a rural region of Andhra Pradesh, India: A cross-sectional study. J NTR Univ Health Sci. 2016;5:130-6.

Mythbusters for South-East Asia Region. COVID-19 Communication for Nepal, WHO, Geneva, 2020. Available at https://www.who.int/nepal/covid-19-nepal-iec. Accessed on 15 May 2020.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters. WHO Geneva, 2020. Available at https://www.who.int/emergencies/ diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters. Accessed on 15 May 2020.

World Medical Association. World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. J Am Med Assoc. 2013;310(20):2191‐4.

Eysenbach G. Improving the quality of Web surveys: the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). J Med Internet Res. 2004;6(3):e34.

Rai M, Kishore J. Myths about diabetes and its treatment in North India population. Int J Diabetes Dev Ctries. 2009;29:129-32.

Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, Flores-Gutiérrez EO, Reyes-Grajeda JP, Carrera-Quintanar L, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630.

Bode AM, Dong Z. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 7. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/ NBK92775/. Accessed on 15 May 2020.

Mahassni SH, Bukhari OA. Beneficial effects of an aqueous ginger extract on the immune system cells and antibodies, hematology, and thyroid hormones in male smokers and non-smokers. J Nutrit Intermed Metabol. 2019;15:10-7.

Catanzaro M, Corsini E, Rosini M, Racchi M, Lanni C. Immunomodulators inspired by nature: a review on curcumin and echinacea. Molecules. 2018;23(11):2778.