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In light of the ongoing coronavirus, various statements and posts have been posted to social media sites, offering conspiracies to explain the virus, to purported “ways” to self-diagnose yourself, to, most recently, so-called “advice” from a Japanese doctor apparently treating the coronavirus that recommended drinking water every 15 minutes to prevent the virus,
According to the post, drinking water will “wash down” the virus into your stomach, where the acid will kill it.
Below is the full message being posted to multiple Facebook groups:
AS RECEIVED: The new NCP coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days, how can one know if he/she is infected. By the time they have fever and/or cough and goes to the hospital, the lungs is usually 50 % Fibrosis and it’s too late!
Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning:
Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stuffiness or tightness etc it proves there is no fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicating no infection.
In critical times, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air!
SERIOUS EXCELLENT ADVICE by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases. Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat is moist, never DRY. Take a few sips of water every 15 mins at least. WHY? Even if the virus gets into your mouth…drinking water or other liquids will WASH them down through your oesophagus and into the stomach. Once there in tummy…your stomach ACID will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly…the virus can enter your windpipes and into the LUNGS. That’s very dangerous.
Pls send and share with family, friends and everyone about this ! Take care everyone n may the world recovers from corona virus soon. May all be well n happy ????
A fact-check by the Taiwan Fact-Check Center already reported that the so-called self-diagnosis method is inaccurate, saying that, “…this rumor is an error message […] the inflammation of the lungs caused by the infection [coronavirus] usually starts with cough, fever, and sputum, and there is no sudden lung fibrosis without symptoms […] only a hospital can confirm lung condition.” (rough translation)
There was also no record of any expert recommending to “hold your breath” to check for the coronavirus. In fact, according to Dr. Robert Legare Atmar, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, there is no evidence that the new coronavirus causes fibrosis.
A message similar to the second part was debunked by Snopes, which found that “No evidence exists to indicate that any public health authority is officially advising the public that a dry throat makes individuals more vulnerable to contracting the virus and that therefore drinking water is an effective prevention method.”
While drinking water does help bolster your immune system overall, there is currently no observed benefit of drinking water specifically in regards to the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus.
AP Fact Check also conducted a fact check, finding the claim to be false, and cited Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University who said that while medical professionals typically recommend keeping up fluid intake when sick, drinking more water will not keep anyone from catching the virus.
We also reached out to Dr. David Belk, a board-certified internist, and researcher at True Cost of Health Care, in regards to the validity of drinking water to prevent the coronavirus and the reason for it being false.
Dr. Belk immediately described the claim as false, adding “Coronaviruses, like most upper respiratory viruses, usually causes common colds by attacking the upper airways, which include the sinuses, upper bronchi, and pharynx, all of which are extremely moist all of the time.”
“This particular coronavirus is different from the ones that cause common colds in that it can attack the lower respiratory tract deep in the lungs which is how it causes acute respiratory distress. The lungs, like the upper airways, are extremely moist all of the time. How would moisture in the throat inhibit any virus that naturally targets such moist tissues as the upper airways and lungs?”
UPDATE: Dr. Belk has also added, “It’s simply not possible to “wash” all potential viruses entering your mouth or nose into your stomach. Viruses infect people by latching onto, then infecting target cells in our bodies. They do this quickly and effectively. A sip of water, or even a big gulp of water, won’t stop them from doing what they’re naturally programmed to do.”
If you see this post on social media, we recommend you report it to help stop misinformation.
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