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‘We’ve heard a lot:’ Health director debunks dangerous myths surrounding coronavirus pandemic

Data pix.

WEST BEND -- The U.S. State Department found roughly two million false coronavirus conspiracy tweets spread in just three weeks.

Misinformation can be dangerous. No, garlic water is not a cure for COVID-19, and the virus is not just a "bad flu." However, that's the kind of stuff floating around the internet that local public health directors, like Kirsten Johnson, are trying to fight.

Kirsten Johnson

"We've heard a lot," Johnson, Washington Ozaukee Public Health Director, said.

Johnson stresses that no one -- no age, race or background -- is immune. That's because COVID-19 is new; we don't have vaccines and specific treatments like we do for the flu.

On that note, Johnson said a lot of people are mixing-up the ideas of "isolation" and "quarantine."

"I think of it as 'isolation is sick.' It's just a good wat to think about it," said Johnson. "If someone is isolated, that means they are at home, should be in one room, in their own bathroom, food being brought to them.

"If someone is in quarantine, that just means they are separating themselves socially from interacting outside of their home."

The medical community does not know for sure how long people are contagious, but there are different ways COVID-19 can spread.

"I am within six feet of you right now. Now you and I are contacts," Johnson said. "Contact spread means I am going to get it from you. Community spread means I am going to the grocery store, and, potentially, someone at the grocery store was sick, and I am going to get it from them."

That's why the public is seeing so many closings; they're a preventive measure -- not a scare tactic.

"I think the message is yes, we should be concerned, yes we should take precautions. But we also should not panic. We don't need all the toilet paper," said Johnson.

The moral of the story? Question the source of everything you read. Examples of good sources include your local public health department, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

FOX6 News will continue bringing you information from scientists, health experts and people who know what they're talking about in regard to the COVID-19 virus.

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