Ever since the Coronavirus started making headlines, netizens have been coming forward with homemade remedies and weird suggestions to kill the novel virus. Since there exists no medicines or vaccines to fight against COVID-19, people often fall prey to such messages and proposals that go viral on social media.
Now, the latest homemade remedy to 'cure' the Coronavirus suggests the intake of tonic water as it contains quinine along with zinc. It has to be noted that quinine is the synthetic relative of hydroxychloroquine, which is currently used as a trial for COVID-19 treatment though it is normally used as an anti-malarial drug. However, it has not been approved as a drug to treat Coronavirus as of now.
"Quinine found in Tonic water along with 50-100mg of zinc daily will kill COVID-19," reads the viral message doing the rounds on social media. The viral claim was apparently made by a St Louis-based chiropractor Eric Nepute, who runs the Nepute Wellness Clinic and the 'remedy' spread like a wildfire across the Internet in no time. He posted his live video on April 6 and suggested consuming Schweppes tonic water along with 50-100 mg of zinc every day.
"Right now, I'm telling you right now, the answer is quinine. I want everybody listening right now to go do this. I want every one of you to go today. See if you can buy some quinine and, if not, go get some Schweppes Tonic Water. Tonic water has a ton of quinine in it."
"Quinine acts similar to hydroxychloroquine, okay. Quinine acts as a transport chain to allow nutrients to get into the cells. So I'm telling everybody right now if you know someone who's got flu-like symptoms - if they've got symptoms of COVID-19, the cold, the flu, whatever - go and get either some quinine and/or some Schweppes tonic water. Let me tell you this again: quinine and/or Schweppes tonic water," DailyMail quoted him as saying in the video, which has been currently removed by YouTube as it contains misleading information.
The latest claim suggested as a cure for the novel virus infection is false. The amount of quinine contained in commercial beverages is roughly 83 milligrams per litre, as per the restrictions of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, health experts are of the opinion that the quinine contained in tonic water is way too diluted and will not be as effective as you think.
Also, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the tolerable upper intake level of zinc for people above 19 years is just 40 mg per day, unlike the viral message that suggests 50-100mg of zinc. Adverse effects of high zinc intake can even cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and headaches. Therefore, the latest 'remedy' is not just misleading, it could be dangerous as well.
Meanwhile, after the video went viral on social media, Eric Neptune came forward with another video message, claiming that he never said quinine as a cure for Coronavirus. "I have never ever said that anything that I have reported is going to cure Coronavirus. Somebody took the 30-second clip out of my 30-minute video and went viral with it saying that local chiropractor claims that drinking tonic water and taking zinc will cure Coronavirus. I never said that. That's the most idiotic thing out there," he says in another video.