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Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore

09 Mar 2020 19:29, Somoy English Desk
Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore
Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore

Coronavirus is outbreaking in more nations around the globe and there’s as of now no known fix. Lamentably, that hasn’t halted a huge number of wellbeing counsel, going from pointless yet moderately innocuous, to out and out risky.

We’ve been taking a gander at probably the most boundless cases being shared on the web, and what the science truly says.

1. Garlic

Lots of posts that recommend eating garlic to prevent infection are being shared on Facebook.

The WHO (World Health Organization) says that while it is "a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties", there's no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus.

In lots of cases, these kinds of remedies aren't harmful in themselves, as long as they aren't preventing you from following evidence-based medical advice. But they have the potential to be.

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.

We know, in general, that eating fruit and vegetables and drinking water can be good for staying healthy. However, there is no evidence specific foods will help fight this particular virus.

2. Miracle’ solution
You Tuber Jordan Sather, who has many thousands of followers across different platforms, has been claiming that a “miracle mineral supplement” – or MMS – can “wipe out” corona virus.
It contains chlorine dioxide – a bleaching agent.
Sather and others promoted the substance even before the corona virus outbreak, and in January he tweeted that, “not only is chlorine dioxide (aka MMS) an effective cancer cell killer, it can wipe out corona virus too”.
Not only is chlorine dioxide (aka “MMS”) an effective cancer cell killer, it can wipe out corona virus too.

No wonder YouTube has been censoring basically every single video where I discuss it over the last year.

3. Home-made hand sanitizer

There have been numerous reports of deficiencies of hand sanitizer gel, as washing your hands is one key approach to forestall the spread of the infection.

As reports of the deficiencies rose in Italy, so did plans for home-made gel via web-based networking media.

In any case, these plans, affirmed hoodwinks for one of the nation’s most well-known brands, were for a disinfectant more qualified for cleaning surfaces and, as researchers brought up, not appropriate for use on skin.

Liquor based hand gels as a rule likewise contain emollients, which make them gentler on the skin, on their 60-70% liquor content.

Teacher Sally Bloomfield, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says she doesn’t trust you could make a successful item for disinfecting hands at home – even vodka just contains 40% liquor.

For cleaning surfaces, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the most well-known family unit disinfectants ought to be viable.

4. Drinkable silver

The use of colloidal silver was promoted on US televangelist Jim Bakker's show. Colloidal silver is tiny particles of the metal suspended in liquid. A guest on the show claimed the solution kills some strains of coronavirus within 12 hours (while admitting it hadn't yet been tested on Covid-19).

The idea that it could be an effective treatment for coronavirus has been widely shared on Facebook, particularly by "medical freedom" groups which are deeply suspicious of mainstream medical advice.

Proponents of colloidal silver claim it can treat all kinds of health conditions, act as an antiseptic, and state it helps the immune system. But there's clear advice from the US health authorities that there's no evidence this type of silver is effective for any health condition. More importantly, it could cause serious side effects including kidney damage, seizures and argyria - a condition that makes your skin turn blue.

They say that, unlike iron or zinc, silver is not a metal that has any function in the human body.

Some of those promoting the substance for general health on social media have found their posts now generate a pop-up warning from Facebook's fact-checking service.

5. Drinking water every 15 minutes

One post, copied and pasted by multiple Facebook accounts, quotes a "Japanese doctor" who recommends drinking water every 15 minutes to flush out any virus that might have entered the mouth. A version in Arabic has been shared more than 250,000 times.

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.

Nonetheless, drinking water and staying hydrated is generally good medical advice.

6. Heat and avoiding ice cream

There are bunches of varieties of the guidance proposing heat executes the infection, from prescribing drinking high temp water to cleaning up or utilizing hairdryers.

One post, reordered by many web-based life clients in various nations – and erroneously credited to Unicef – claims that drinking heated water and introduction to the sun will execute the infection, and says frozen yogurt is to have stayed away from.

Charlotte Gornitzka, who works for Unicef on coronavirus misinformation, says: "A recent erroneous online message...purporting to be a Unicef communication appears to indicate that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue."

We know the flu virus doesn't survive well outside the body during the summer, but we don't yet know how heat impacts the new coronavirus.

Trying to heat your body or expose yourself to the sun - presumably to make it inhospitable to the virus - is completely ineffective, according to Prof Bloomfield. Once the virus is in your body, there's no way of killing it - your body just has to fight it off.

Outside the body, "to actively kill the virus you need temperatures of around 60 degrees [Celsius]", says Professor Bloomfield - far hotter than any bath.

Washing bed linen or towels at 60C is a good idea, as this can kill any viruses in the fabric. But it's not a good option for washing your skin.

And having a hot bath or drinking hot liquids won't change your actual body temperature, which remains stable unless you are already ill.

Additional research by BBC Monitoring

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