Hot Water Gargles Cure COVID-19? Claim Not Medically Corroborated
With countries around the world taking strong measures in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, fake news factory is also working overtime to disseminate disinformation.
The latest example is the claim that drinking hot water and salt/vinegar water gargles can cure COVID-19. The viral message also claims that the disease, before attacking the lungs, remains in the throat for a period of four days.
The same message has been shared as a video by a man, who identified himself as Mohammad Sarfaraz. He too suggests that the novel coronavirus can enter through a person’s mouth and prior to attacking his/her lungs, it remains in the throat for four days.
He claims to be a pharmacist and mentions that drinking a cup of hot water in the morning, in the afternoon and at night can keep us safe from coronavirus.
Another video suggests that salt/vinegar water gargles are very effective in destroying the novel coronavirus, which remains in the throat for four days before entering our body completely.
(You can find the archived version of the tweet here.)
The video was shared on Twitter as well. The caption of the tweet read, “ Some important information from Kasturba Hospital corona chief Doctor. Please listen carefully and follow if you have any symptoms. Please Share maximum.”
WHAT’s THE TRUTH?
The Quint spoke with Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, who said that there’s no medical evidence known to him that suggests coronavirus remains in the throat for four days before attacking the lungs.
“The claim that hot water gargles can treat coronavirus is completely wrong and there is no medical basis for such claims.” he said.
On being asked whether such practices help in anyway, he said, “Although drinking hot water can be beneficial for a sore throat but it generally helps with fighting certain symptoms and is not a medical treatment. But again, there’s no medical evidence to say that it is effective specifically against COVID-19.”
We also contacted Dr Sumit Ray, a critical care specialist in Delhi NCR, who rubbished the claim by saying that gargling does not help in any way to cure the novel coronavirus. He said that once a virus attaches itself to a body cell, one can’t remove it through gargling.
He further added, “The virus enters our body and manipulates our own body cells and that’s how it causes diseases. We all become virus shedders and a source of infection. Although it’s always good to keep your mouth clean, since it’s good for hygiene, but there’s no medical evidence that doing so would treat coronavirus.”
In the wake of the global pandemic, many such claims have been circulated online. The Quint has examined all these claims and you can read all our coronavirus fact-check stories here.
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