State works to dispel four myths about coronavirus

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — State health officials are working to dispel at least three big myths about coronavirus that may be giving people a false sense of security.

State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry said COVID-19 is “coming back with a vengeance,” and residents need to know the truth about these four myths.

MYTH 1: If you get coronavirus once, the antibodies produced will keep you from getting infected again.

Guidry said at this time, it simply is not known whether or not people can be reinfected by the virus. The virus, he said, has simply not been around long enough to show whether or not reinfections are possible.

MYTH 2: We should all get COVID-19 to build herd immunity.

As of right now, Guidry said Louisiana is nowhere near the rate of infection needed to provide so-called herd immunity. Louisiana would have to reach a 60% infection rate for that to happen, said Guidry. Since not enough is known about the virus’ reinfection abilities, having the disease does not mean having an automatic immunity to it. He compared getting infected on purpose to “playing with fire.”

MYTH 3: It’s not necessary to quarantine while you wait for your test results.

Guidry said it can take up to 14 days before tests can pick up the presence of the virus in your body. A negative test today does not mean the test will be negative tomorrow. He said the virus “picks up steam” over time and since it may not show a positive immediately, people are acting as if a negative test is a bill of clean health.

“People are using testing to get out of the 14-day quarantine,” said Guidry.

MYTH 4: You don’t need to work with contact tracers if you’ve already notified your family and friends.

Contact tracers, said Guidry, can provide a number of services to those who have contracted the disease. While contacting other people who may have been exposed is one of their jobs, they can also work to help people get resources like masks, cleaning supplies, and even groceries in some cases so that people with COVID-19 do not need to leave home.

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