Published in IJCP August 2020
Original Research
A Descriptive Study to Assess the Knowledge about Facts and Prevailing Myths Regarding COVID-19 in General Public
September 14, 2020 | Anjali Singh, Sonia Singh
     


Abstract

Objective: To assess the knowledge about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among the population. To assess the prevailing myths regarding COVID-19. Methodology: This survey with descriptive design was conducted on 117 residents of Ghaziabad, to assess the facts about COVID-19 as well as prevailing myths regarding COVID-19. A structured questionnaire was used to conduct the survey. Participants participated actively in this research. Result: Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Out of 117 respondents, 82 were males and 35 were females. Out of 117 subjects, 71.65% had correct knowledge of COVID-19, and 28.35% did not have the correct knowledge regarding the disease. Myths were not prevalent among the study subjects. Conclusion: The study showed that most people had correct knowledge about the facts of COVID-19. Myths were not prevalent.

Keywords: Novel coronavirus, pandemic, quarantine, outbreak, myths and facts

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an alarming condition, which has rapidly spread across the world. A global pandemic is really life-threatening. Also, people find it difficult to adjust with a sudden occurrence of an outbreak. While the world is searching for solutions to overcome this pandemic, it is important for us to have correct knowledge regarding facts and dispel prevailing myths about this pandemic. When headlines start carrying the word “pandemic”, people start becoming fearful, and fear is linked with misinformation and rumors, leading to myths in the population at large and among certain groups e.g., eating garlic helps prevent infection from novel coronavirus. The fact is that garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic prevents new coronavirus infection. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body kills the new coronavirus is another myth that is prevalent. The fact is that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body will not kill viruses that have already entered the body. According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are elevated rates of myths, due to quarantine and lockdown in affected areas. The number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb every day across the world, including in India. Thus, the researcher felt the need to assess the knowledge about facts and prevailing myths regarding COVID-19.

OBJECTIVES

To assess the knowledge of COVID-19 among the population.

To assess the prevailing myths regarding COVID-19.

To know the impact of prevailing myths on general public regarding COVID-19.

METHODOLOGY

“Research design” is the overall plan for obtaining answers to the question being studied and for handling some of the difficulties encountered during the research. This descriptive survey design was conducted on residents of Ghaziabad, to assess facts and prevailing myths about the disease. This survey with descriptive design was conducted on 117 persons using a structured questionnaire.

Figure 1. Percentage of males and females who have actively participated in the research.

RESULTS

Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and interpreted to assess the knowledge of myths and facts regarding COVID-19.

To begin with, the data were entered in the Google forms in the form of questions for statistical processing.

Respondents have actively participated in the research study and have shown their interest in answering the questions on myths and facts regarding COVID-19. There are total 117 respondents. 

Out of 117 respondents, 82 (70.08%) were males and 35 (29.91%) were females (Fig. 1).

Table 1 shows the percentage of the participants who have participated in the research. A total of 117 participants participated in the survey. The average of right answers is 116.214.

Table 1. Percentage of the Participants Who have Participated in the Research

Survey

question no.

Right answer (%)

Wrong answer (%)

Respondents out of 117

Q 1.

68.4 (n = 80)

31.6 (n = 37)

117

Q 2.

79.1 (n = 91)

20.9 (n = 24)

115

Q 3.

64.9 (n = 74)

35.1 (n = 40)

114

Q 4.

85.3 (n = 99)

14.7 (n = 17)

116

Q 5.

79.5 (n = 93)

20.5 (n = 24)

117

Q 6.

28.2 (n = 33)

71.8 (n = 84)

117

Q 7.

79.1 (n = 91)

20.9 (n = 24)

115

Q 8.

47.9 (n = 56)

52.1 (n = 61)

117

Q 9.

63.2 (n = 74)

36.8 (n = 43)

117

Q 10.

90.4 (n = 103)

9.6 (n = 11)

114

Q 11.

82.9 (n = 97)

17.1 (n = 20)

117

Q 12.

88.9 (n = 104)

11.1 (n = 13)

117

Q 13.

65.8 (n = 77)

34.2 (n = 40)

117

Q 14.

79.5 (n = 93)

20.5 (n = 24)

117

Q 15

100 (n = 117)

0 (n = 0)

117

Average

73.54 (n = 86)

26.46 (n = 31)

116.214

DISCUSSION

To the best of our knowledge, there is no published study, which has evaluated the knowledge about facts and prevailing myths regarding COVID-19 in general public. COVID-19 is an alarming disease, which has affected the individuals around the world. It has affected the lifestyle of the individuals. There have been several deaths and large numbers of affected cases of the COVID-19 all around the world. Every day thousands of new cases are being reported. The condition is worsening day by day. This global pandemic has affected the individuals mentally as well, which can lead to many myths and generate panic, stress or anxiety, etc. The study is done in view of the alarming increase in the myths about the disease among the general public. The WHO information has been used in awareness and reducing the stigma-related to COVID-19 among general public.

CONCLUSION

COVID-19 is an alarming disease these days. It was first identified in Wuhan city of China in 2019. It is the most discussed disease as its vaccine is not discovered yet.

The study showed that most people had correct knowledge about Coronavirus pandemic. All the respondents were from the urban areas. Myths were not prevalent among population of Ghaziabad surveyed.

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank all the study participants for their voluntary participation.

SUGGESTED READING

  1. Cennimo DJ. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Questions & Answers. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2500114-questions-and-answers.
  2. Knvul Sheikh, Roni Caryn Rabin. The coronavirus: what scientists have learned so far. June 1, 2020. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-coronavirus.html.
  3. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(8):727-33.
  4. WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19; March 11, 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/whodirectorgeneral-s-opening-remarks-at-the-mediabriefing-on-covid-19-11-march-2020.
  5. World Health Organization. (2020). Clinical management of COVID-19: interim guidance, 27 May 2020. World Health Organization. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/332196.
  6. National Institutes of Health, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) treatment guidelines. 2020.
  7. World Health Organization. (2020). Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations: scientific brief, 29 March 2020. World Health Organization. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/331616

Demographic Variable (Part A)

  1. Age:
  2. 16-18
  3. 19-21
  4. 21 and above
  5. Gender:
  6. Male
  7. Female
  8. Type of family:
  9. Joint family
  10. Nuclear family
  11. Number of siblings:
  12. 1
  13. 2
  14. 3

  15. Knowledge regarding facts and prevailing myths on COVID-19
  16. Family Friends
  17. Television
  18. Newspaper
  19. Social media

Self-Structured Questionnaire (Part B)

  1. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline water help prevent infection with new coronavirus?
  2. Yes
  3. No
  4. Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
  5. Yes
  6. No
  7. Can spraying alcohol and chlorine all over body kill the new coronavirus?
  8. Yes
  9. No
  10. Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus?
  11. Yes
  12. No
  13. Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
  14. Yes
  15. No
  16. Is it safe to receive a letter from China?
  17. Yes
  18. No
  19. Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
  20. Yes
  21. No
  22. Can gargling with warm water protect you from infection with new coronavirus?
  23. Yes
  24. No
  25. Can eating garlic help you prevent infection from new coronavirus?
  26. Yes
  27. No
  28. Does putting sesame oil block the new coronavirus?
  29. Yes
  30. No
  31. Can holding breath for 10 seconds help you prevent coronavirus?
  32. Yes
  33. No
  34. Can drinking alcohol protect you from the new coronavirus?
  35. True
  36. False
  37. Can taking a hot water bath protect you from the new coronavirus?
  38. True
  39. False
  40. From where do you come to know the above stated myths?
  41. Newspaper
  42. Television
  43. Social media
  44. Family friends
  45. Can you tell that the new coronavirus affects which age group of population?
  46. Infants
  47. Younger
  48. Older

                d.             All age group