Coronavirus: Local health officials discuss COVID-19 facts and fiction

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, hasn't gained a foothold in the U.S., in Texas or in Central Texas, but concerns are rising.

(CDC)

As fear grows, myths are beginning to swirl about the virus.

One myth that local doctors have heard is that many people here Central Texas say they have caught coronavirus, which is partially true but the strain they have isn't COVID-19.

"Coronavirus is a common cold virus that has been out there for years," says Tim Martindale a family practice physician in Waco.

"Coronavirus is something people here in Central Texas can have, but that is a completely different strain of the vaccine than the one that came from China," says Martindale.

Another myth that officials heard is that buying a mask will help stop the spread of the viral disease, but they say the purpose of a mask is actually much different.

"Masks are designed to keep someone who is sick from spreading germs, so if you are healthy wearing a mask that is not productive," says Kelly Craine with the McLennan County Health District.

Local officials say that flu still remains a much larger threat to the population than COVID-19.

It's suggested that the best way to prevent the sickness from being spread is to wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you are sick.

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