It is videos, sound recordings or chain letters that are distributed via messenger service or social media, in which it is recommended, for example, to gargle with chlorine solutions or to rinse the mouth with dilute hydrogen peroxide – a means of bleaching hair.
Protection from infection with Covid-19 or other health benefits should not be expected from such applications, emphasizes the immunologist Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt from the Medical University of Vienna. On the contrary, rinsing or gargling your mouth could be a health hazard.
Bad for the immune system
Chlorine or hydrogen peroxide solutions would rather ensure that the body’s natural barriers against pathogens would be destroyed. It could also cause severe irritation to the mucous membranes. “At higher concentrations, this can lead to injuries that can be painful and dangerous,” says Wiedermann-Schmidt.
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The journals on April 11 at 12 p.m. and the latest edition of the Ö1 Corona podcast also deal with false reports and rumors surrounding Covid-19.
In no case does the immune system or the body’s defense benefit from such measures. The immunologist therefore strongly advises against this. The same applies to the taking of such solutions, which is also propagated by dubious sources on the net; like an overdosed intake of vitamin D and vitamin C. “There is no scientific evidence or medical recommendations for this either,” says Wiedermann-Schmidt.
Alcohol does not protect against viruses
This rumor is also rumored that regular consumption of alcohol could protect against infection with the new corona virus or that people with alcohol consumption disorders would not get Covid-19. There is no scientific evidence for these messages, says Wiedermann-Schmidt. Rather, high alcohol consumption helps to weaken the immune system.
“We know that high alcohol consumption is usually one of the risk factors for severe courses of infectious diseases because the immune system is no longer able to defend itself,” said the immunologist. Therefore, continuous alcohol consumption or high alcohol consumption should rather be seen as a risk factor.
Turn on common sense, keep your distance
The immunologist emphasizes that there are no legitimate sources, such as scientific study results or medical treatment recommendations, for any of these supposed recommendations. This also applies to the invitation to spray water into your nose and then blow hot air in with a hair dryer. A corresponding video is currently circulating as a mass message. In any case, this is ineffective to prevent infection. “So I ask people to turn on their common sense and refrain from these things,” says Wiedermann-Schmidt
Not smoking and not drinking alcohol, eating a healthy diet and exercising are general health recommendations that would still apply today, says Wiedermann-Schmidt. In addition, one should follow the advice given by the health authorities in recent weeks: wash your hands regularly, wear a mouth-nose guard in shops or on public transport and keep your distance.