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Feinstein Warns Against Coronavirus Misinformation

            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today cautioned Americans to be wary of misinformation regarding the coronavirus. She also spoke out against the increase in racism toward Asian-Americans.

            “Coronavirus has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000, including six in the United States,” said Senator Feinstein. “Two things are essential: First that we do everything in our power to prevent the spread of this virus, and second that we not allow misinformation to make the situation worse.

            “We’ve already seen an increase in the spread of false information regarding prevention. I urge everyone to use only trusted sources of information such as the CDC, World Health Organization and state and local public health agencies.

            “We’ve also seen a rise in racism toward Asian-Americans because the virus is associated with China. This is unconscionable and it’s not the American way. People of all ages, races and ethnicities are susceptible to this disease. Bigotry toward any one group for a virus they have nothing to do with makes no sense.”

Common coronavirus misconceptions (source: World Health Organization):

  • Myth: Coronavirus can be transmitted via mail from China. Fact: WHO reports that the coronavirus cannot survive for long on objects in the mail and it is safe to handle packages and letters from China.
  • Myth: Surgical masks can prevent someone from getting coronavirus. Fact: According to WHO, surgical masks are not an effective prevention measure for the transmission of coronavirus and should not be used by healthy people at this time.
  • Myth: A vaccine or homeopathic cure can help prevent spread. Fact: There is currently no vaccine to prevent transmission of coronavirus, and WHO says the use of homeopathic substances to self-treat should be avoided.

Guidelines to protect yourself (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If you’re sick or don’t feel well, stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces.
  • Facemasks are not necessary or helpful for healthy people and should only be used by those with coronavirus symptoms.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

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