Debunking fake news on Coronavirus has become a tough task as multiple false reports on protection against infection and various self-medication tips are surfacing online every day. Misleading claims are even shared on social media platforms using the name of some credible sources, making netizens confused about what to believe and what not.
Also check: Viral myths on Coronavirus
After many self-medication tips and the claim that constant sex kills Coronavirus, the latest false statements that are widely shared on social media and on e-mail are some tips for self-checking Coronvirus symptoms.
"Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds. If you do this successfully without coughing, discomfort, stiffness or tightness, there is no fibrosis in the lungs; it basically indicates no infection." -- FAKE CLAIM
This is the latest viral piece of "information" shared by many claiming to be a suggestion by the experts at Stanford University as well as by Taiwan health experts. After it went viral on multiple social media platforms, the University has come forward clarifying it to be fake.
"Misinformation about COVID-19 symptoms and treatment falsely attributed to Stanford is circulating on social media and in email forwards. It is not from Stanford. Official information from Stanford is available at http://healthalerts.stanford.edu (sic)," Stanford University tweeted.
It has to be noted that the Coronavirus symptoms mentioned on the official website of the University are just mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Also, there isn't any scientific evidence to prove that holding your breath for 10 seconds indicates a clean bill of health. Many health experts have also called these claims rubbish and requested the public not to share misleading rumours.
The viral message also includes other "tips" like keeping your throat moist and drinking water, especially hot water, every 15 minutes, as the virus can't stay alive in hot conditions.
"Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your esophagus into the stomach. Once they are in the 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." -- FAKE CLAIM
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also clarified that there exists no evidence to support any of these claims. The most effective recommendation suggested by the WHO to prevent COVID-19 infection includes washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using alcohol-based sanitizers, avoiding public places, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and to stay away from sick people.
Fake video by Aparna Mulberry
Aparna Mulberry, a TV show host who speaks South Indian language Malayalam fluently, recently posted a video with the above-mentioned tips on self-checking COVID-19 symptoms.
The clip had gone viral on social media in no time as she has many followers in the southern Indian state of Kerala. However, immediately after realising the "tips" she mentioned in the video are fake, Aparna removed it from her social media platforms and even apologised for spreading rumours on the Coronavirus. "This is regarding the COVID19 video which I uploaded on Helo yesterday. Please read this. I feel terrible and I apologize for not checking my sources before posting the video. This was a great lesson for me, but we all make mistakes. So SORRY! (sic)," she posted on Facebook.