Coronavirus myths: From Vitamin C to drinking water every 15 minutes – The Sun

DEADLY coronavirus is continuing to sweep across the globe – with cases surging to 53 in the UK.

And now the World Health Organisation (WHO) are cracking down on "dangerous" myths that are circulating about how to stop yourself getting Covid-19.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

In particular, experts say the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories could trigger more cases in the UK.

Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia's (UEA) Norwich Medical School, said fake news leads to bad advice and people taking "greater risks" during health crises.

It comes as latest figures show 93,576 cases of the illness and 3,204 deaths across the world.

A doomsday scenario set out in official papers seen by The Sun also revealed four in five Brits could become infected by deadly coronavirus — with up to 500,000 killed.

Here, we take you through the claims spreading online, and the facts you need to know about them…

1. Vitamin C protects you

Many people believe that dosing up on vitamin C supplements will stop you coming down with coronavirus – just like it would with a winter cold.

However, there is currently no solid proof that vitamin C will help you in the fight against the deadly bug.

Scientists from China are currently racing to test the effects of vitamin C on the coronavirus outbreak.

2. Drinking every 15mins flushes out Covid-19

People have claimed taking sips of water every 15 minutes will help flush the virus through your body if it gets into your mouth.

Despite this, while drinking water prevents dehydration it will not prevent anyone from catching the new coronavirus.


Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases expert at Vanderbilt University, said: "We always caution anyone healthy and people who are sick to keep up fluid intake and keep mucus membranes moist.

"It makes you feel better; there is no clear indication that it directly protects you against complications."

3. Shaving off facial hair protects you

NHS staff with facial hair at Southampton General Hospital were recently urged to shave to help limit the spread of the virus.
This is because, according to the Health and Safety Executive, stubble and beards "make it impossible to get a good seal of the mask to the face".

This has led to rumours circulating that shaving off your facial hair will protect you from Covid-19.

Despite this, this is nonsense that has joined the long list of misinformation.

4. Hand dryers kill coronavirus

Rumours had circulated that using hot air from a hand-dryer for 30 seconds could kill the virus if it was on your hands.

But, WHO says this isn't true and won't kill the new strain 2019-nCoV – now dubbed Covid-19.

"To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water," they said.

"Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer."

5. Gargling mouthwash protects you

Mouthwash cannot protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.

WHO say: "There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.

Source: NHS

"Some brands or mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection."

6. Eating garlic prevents infection

While eating garlic can help to treat the common cold, it won't stop you from being infected with coronavirus.

"Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties," WHO say.

"However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus."

7. Young people don't get coronavirus

Young people are also at risk of COVID-19, despite patterns showing the elderly are struck more often.

"People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)," WHO say.

"Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

"WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene."

8. UV lamps beat the bug

WHO have urged people not to use UV lamps to sterilise hands or other areas of skin in a bid to beat coronavirus.

The organisation said: "UV lamps should not be used to sterilise hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation."

9. Thermal scanners detect coronavirus

Thermal scanners are currently being used at airports, train stations and other public places to detect those with a high temperature.

But while these scanners after effective in detecting people who have developed a fever because of infection with the new coronavirus – it won't pick up those yet to display symptoms.

WHO said: "Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.

"However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever.

"This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever."

10. Spraying alcohol over your body works

WHO have slammed people who claim spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will kill viruses that have already entered your body.

Instead they say: "Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth).

"Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations."

11. Letters and packages from China aren't safe

Contrary to assumptions, it is actually safe to receive packages from China.

"People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus," WHO say.

"From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages."

12. Pneumonia vaccines protect you

According to WHO, it is false for people to say that pneumonia vaccines will protect you against coronavirus.

Vaccines for COVID-19 are still in the making and are unlikely to be finished in time to curb the current outbreak.

"Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus," WHO say.

"The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

"Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health."

13. Rinsing your nose with saline prevents infection

There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus, WHO say.

"There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold," the organisation adds.

"However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections."

14. Sesame oil blocks the new coronavirus

Sesame oil is a staple in Asian cooking – but that's about all it's good for.

"Sesame oil does not kill the new coronavirus", WHO warn.

"There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces.

"These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform.

"However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin."

15. Antibiotics kill coronavirus

COVID-19 is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

WHO say: "No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

"The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

"However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible."

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