Coronavirus: Fake Cures And Fact Checks

Coronavirus is emerging in more countries around the world. Unfortunately, we don’t have any known cure yet. However, that does not stop ‘experts’ to issue advisory, and make false claims about the disease and treatment options.

We have experts telling us what foods we should eat, what we should avoid, how to strengthen our immunity etc. Some of these advises are innocuous, others are downright dangerous.

Let us talk about these ‘cures’:

Garlic

Does it protect you from the new Coronavirus? Of course, it is a healthy food. Even the WHO recommends it. But, we don’t have any evidence yet that antimicrobial properties of garlic can really protect us from the new coronavirus.

The South China Morning Post reported a story of a woman who had to receive hospital treatment for a severely inflamed throat after consuming 1.5kg of raw garlic.

Miracle Minerals

So far, more than 82,000 people have contracted this virus. It has claimed the lives of around 3000 people. Effective treatment is still far away from us. But that does not stop “wellness influencers” on social media to make matter worse.

YouTuber Jordan Sather, who has many thousands of followers across different platforms, has been claiming that a “miracle mineral supplement”, called MMS, can “wipe out” coronavirus.

It contains chlorine dioxide – a bleaching agent.

In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the dangers to health of drinking MMS. Health authorities in other countries have also issued alerts about it.

Hand Sanitizer

One way, you can protect yourself from any kind of virus is washing your hands regularly. Following the outbreak of coronavirus, hand sanitizers have gone out of stock in many countries.

It is true we are facing the shortages of hand sanitizer gel. But, we have no dearth of experts on available on social media.

Some of these homemade hand sanitizers are better suited for cleaning surfaces and, harmful for use on skin.

Alcohol-based hand gels usually also contain emollients, which make them gentler on skin, on top of their 60-70% alcohol content.

According to Professor Sally Bloomfield of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, it is almost impossible to make an effective product for sanitizing hands at home.

Drinking water every 15 minutes

A Facebook post quoting a “Japanese Doctor” went viral. It was shared by thousands of people. This so-called Japanese doctor recommends that you can get rid of any virus by drinking water every 15 minutes. This post’s Arabic version was shared by more than 250,000 social media users.

Professor Bloomfield says there is absolutely no evidence this will help.

Airborne viruses enter the body via the respiratory tract when you breathe in. Some of them might go into your mouth, but even constantly drinking water isn’t going to prevent you from catching the virus.

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