Can you believe this? — "Inhaling steam for 15 to 20 minutes will kill the novel Coronavirus instantly." Many are already falling prey to this viral claim that has surfaced online. Instead of only inhaling steam, a few people have added items like iodized salt, orange or lemon peels, onion and garlic, to name a few, to the hot water as a cure against COVID-19.
"A Chinese expert confirms that inhaling water steam kills the Coronavirus by 100 percent in case the virus is in the lungs, throat, or nose since the virus can not survive the temperature of the hot the steam," reads the recent viral message that is doing the rounds on social media.
Also, videos of a few people trying out these homemade remedies to fight the deadly viral infection are also being shared widely on social media. In one of the videos, a woman is seen following the instructions of another man, who proposes the idea of inhaling steam water with orange peels, onion, garlic and salt.
"So she is doing the steaming method for the Coronavirus and it is actually working. She feels so much better. Earlier today, her throat was hurting and now that she is doing this, and she got it from this man, she is feeling a lot better. So this is the cure for the Coronavirus," the woman's daughter is heard saying in the video.
Though steam inhalation is a traditional method followed by many people across the world to cure a cold, throat pain or slight respiratory illnesses, it has to be noted that this "will not kill the Coronavirus". It is understood that there will only be symptomatic relief and it is not a recommended treatment for any viral infection.
Even Facebook has flagged the video as misleading, confirming that this method is not effective to kill the COVID-19. Meanwhile, health experts are of the opinion that this method could, in fact, be harmful in this current situation.
"At the current time, the only way to 'kill' a virus is through antimicrobial cleaning solutions, which should NEVER be inhaled or introduced into the body in any way," Dr Jason McKnight, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at Texas A&M University, told AFP by email.
Even the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not prescribe this as a method to fight the virus. The only effective method the health experts are advising the public to follow in order to prevent the contraction of the Coronavirus is to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand sanitizers as there are no vaccines or medicines available as of now.
Recent fake claims
Similarly, fake claims like consumption of garlic and onion water, cow urine, alcohol, hot water, taking a hot bath to constant sex killing COVID-19 had also gone viral on social media. Many other bizarre remedies like using ablution water and perfume from the Prophet as a cure against this virus infection were also widely shared online.