Coronavirus – Fake News

There are  several email and Facebook posts doing the rounds, usually claiming to be from a doctor relative of a friend of a friend, which of course gives credence to the content, but most of what I have seen contains fake news, which could mean people believing they are safe and protected when they are not, so I thought, it might be helpful to look at some of the “facts” that are being spread around ….

If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you don’t have coronavirus


Increasingly we think that some people may have the infection with no symptoms at all but could still spread the infection to others.

This myth is probably based on a test called the Roth (8 second) test, which doctors use when assessing patients by telephone. We ask the patient to take a deep breath and then count to 30 as fast as they can, and we time how long it takes them to need to take a breath. If the patient takes a breath in less than 8 seconds, that suggests they have below normal oxygen levels in their system.

The virus is killed at temperatures over 27 degrees so drinking regular hot drinks will protect you from infection.  


This probably has come from the fact, most respiratory viral illnesses (coughs and colds) tend to be more frequent in the winter months and disappear during the summer, but this has more to do with us spending more time outdoors in the summer and naturally socially distancing more without consciously thinking about it.

Remember, normal human body temperature is 37 degrees and the virus thrives in our lungs. Drinking hot drinks cannot prevent you getting infected.

Drinking water every 15 minutes will flush the virus down into the stomach and stop it getting into your lungs


I’m not sure where the basis for this myth lies, other than, even a mild fever can lead to significant excess loss of fluid in sweat, so drinking plenty of fluids is important for anyone with a temperature.

Eating garlic will stop you from contracting the virus


Garlic is thought to have some immune boosting properties. It contains a compound called alliin. When garlic is crushed this compound is converted to allicin and it is this and its breakdown products that seem to help the immune system. But, conversion to allicin is inhibited by heat, so to get the best out of garlic, you should eat it raw. And believe me, if we could stop coronavirus in its tracks by getting everyone to eat raw garlic, the government wouldn’t be spending millions on personal protective equipment and extra hospital beds!

Leaving post or parcels outside for 15 minutes will kill off the virus


We are still learning about how long the virus survives outside the human body. Current thinking is that it could be anything from 2 hours to 9 days. It seems to last longest on hard surfaces like metals, but the risk of contamination seems to be significantly reduced after 72 hours. I recommend you undo all your post in one go, dispose of the packaging immediately, wipe down the surfaces and then wash your hands before inspecting the contents.

You can make effective home hand sanitisers from vodka


Vodka is around 40% alcohol and hand sanitisers have an alcohol content of anything between 60 and 95%.

Drinkable silver will prevent you contracting coronavirus


Silver is known to have some antimicrobial properties and is used in some dressings, but drinkable silver can actually have some serious side effects including kidney damage and seizures.

To protect yourself from coronavirus

Wash your hands regularly and properly. Check out this video to show you how

Practice social distancing at all times

Self-isolate if you are in a high-risk group

Hope this helps

Stay safe