COVID MISCONCEPTIONS

KSL Investigates 3 COVID-19 Myths & Misconceptions

Dec 10, 2020, 11:56 AM
FILE (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)...
A member of the dialysis prepares to treat a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital on May 1, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. The coronavirus death toll in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpassed 2,000 people on Friday as the District recorded its largest number of daily infections thus far. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s been a year since the novel coronavirus first started making global news, and nine months since much of the country went into lockdowns, quarantines and isolation. It’s no secret a lot of ideas and misconceptions are out there. The KSL Investigators have looked into some of the more prevalent ones.

Myth #1: “Utah Inflates COVID-19 Numbers” 

The KSL Investigates team responded to local claims that the numbers reported by the Utah Department of Health were inflated.

They also looked into claims that anyone who died of other causes, but happened to be positive for the virus at the time of their death, was included in the health department’s numbers, regardless of the circumstances of their death.

Health officials said that’s not the case.

“About 15-18 percent of all deaths go through the medical examiner,” said Becky Ward, a health educator with the Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology. “It’s not unusual, it’s not atypical, but we want to make sure [COVID-19] deaths are verified and certified as a cause of death.”

Ward said every deceased person whose body goes to the medical examiner receives a COVID-19 test. However, if the autopsy does not reveal that COVID-19 was the cause of death, it is not listed as such.

“It will not just automatically be listed as the cause of death,” she continued.

Myth #2: “The Flu is Worse Than COVID”

The KSL Investigators also wanted to find truth with the notion that the flu is worse than COVID.

“COVID is so much more serious,” Ward told KSL TV. “It spreads easier, and it is more infectious.”

According to Utah’s influenza report, the 2017-2018 flu season was the most severe of the last six years, with a cumulative hospitalization rate of 71.06 per 100,000 Utahns.

Ward said hospitalizations from COVID-19 since March 2020 have had a cumulative rate of 213.95 per 100,000 Utahns – three times higher that of the flu.

“What we have been seeing is that COVID causes more hospitalizations, and it has caused more deaths,” said Ward.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2018 showed 353 Utahns died from both influenza and pneumonia that year.

COVID-19 has already killed more than twice that number in Utah, with nearly 868 deaths as a result of the virus.

Myth #3: “A Rushed Vaccine Make It Less Safe”

Two pharmaceutical companies said they were ready for approval for their COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Britain has already begun inoculations of the Pfizer vaccine.

For months, some  officials have said a vaccine could take 18-24 months to develop, manufacture and distribute. However, after 9-10 months, the first round await FDA approval.

The speed at which the immunizations have come to market has several people concerned that a rush to get the medication to patients may have compromised the vaccine’s integrity.

The KSL Investigators spoke with Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah. He said, if the vaccines are approved by the FDA, the public should feel comfortable.

“There’s no evidence that any of the components of any vaccine that’s approved for use is fundamentally dangerous,” he said. “If it were, it wouldn’t be approved.”

Dr. Swaminathan said scientists were able to develop and test the COVID-19 vaccine quicker then expected because of funding  and  previous research.

Several pharmaceutical and governments invested heavily in research to curb the global pandemic.

“There was a lot of economic investment – (an) unparalleled amount of economic investment,” Swaminathan said.

Access to trial subjects and research into past pandemics also helped.

LINK: More on Brittany Glas’ report about the safety of approved vaccines

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

COVID Misconceptions

FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
30 days ago
FILE PHOTO...
Brittany Glas & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Are Fetal Cell Lines Used In The COVID-19 Vaccine? KSL Investigates

In an ongoing series on COVID-19 misconceptions, the KSL Investigators separate fact from fiction. What’s in the vaccines? Brittany Glas digs into the ethical background of these drugs.
2 years ago
A close-up of a syringe containing a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as it is given to a patient a...
Brittany Glas, KSL TV

Experts Say Fast-Tracking Vaccine Doesn’t Mean It’s Less Safe

Health officials said local hospitals have been preparing for months to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. While some said this the hope they've been waiting for, others are hesitant. 
2 years ago
FILE (Moderna)...
Brittany Glas & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

KSL Investigates: Does A Rushed Vaccine Make It Less Safe?

Many have expressed worry that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be safe since it was developed much faster than other vaccines. KSL Investigator Brittany Glas breaks down the rush and how it might compare to previous vaccines.
2 years ago
(KSL-TV)...
Brittany Glas & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

KSL Investigates: Are COVID-19 Deaths In Utah Inflated?

Are deaths being reported as COVID-caused, even if that’s not actually the case? The KSL Investigators look at the facts vs. fiction in claims around coronavirus deaths.
2 years ago
FILE (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)...
Brittany Glas & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

KSL Investigates: No, Flu Is Not Worse Than COVID-19

With lots of information about COVID-19 floating around social media, the KSL Investigators look to separate the facts from COVID misconceptions, including the question, “Is the flu really worse than COVID-19?"
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
KSL Investigates 3 COVID-19 Myths & Misconceptions