Warm water, salt and vinegar won’t keep you safe from coronavirus

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Claim: Drinking lots of water and gargling a mixture of warm water, vinegar and salt can eliminate COVID-19.

Fact: There is no evidence to support this claim. 

Don’t believe everything your uncle sends to the family WhatsApp group! There has been an outpouring of misinformation and disinformation after the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in December. An image recently circulated on social media through WhatsApp and Facebook claims that the COVID-19 remains in the recipient’s throat for four days before infecting the entire body, and therefore one should gargle with a mixture of warm water, salt and vinegar to keep the virus at bay. Upon some research, Soch found this information to be false. 

Does the virus remain in the throat for 4 days initially? 

No, it doesn’t. AFP and AAP, who are both accredited by the International Fact Checking Network have debunked the myth that the COVID-19 necessarily starts from a throat infection. An infectious diseases physician from the University of Sydney, Professor Anthony Cunningham told AAP FactCheck that it is not accurate to say that the virus will infect the throat first as the delicate tissues behind the nose are more likely starting points. 

Moreover, according to the World Health Organisation and  US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties

Will a mixture of warm water, vinegar and salt eliminate the virus? 

No. This is false. There is no scientific proof that correlates warm water and saline with mitigating effects of the virus in the human body. The world health organisation clearly states in an infographic about corona that “there is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from the new coronavirus.” AAP Fact-check also debunks this claim by stating that gargling warm water and salt provides symptomatic relief at best and is not a cure to the virus itself. 

Summary: There is no evidence to support the claim that gargling a mixture of warm water, vinegar and salt will eliminate COVID-19.

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