Coronavirus: Which health claims are circulating online?


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Sticking to a vegetarian weight loss program could also be wholesome, however it will not stave off coronavirus

Because the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an effect on international locations the world over, false and deceptive well being recommendation remains to be being broadly shared on-line.

We have taken a take a look at a number of the most up-to-date examples and the place they’ve come from.

1. The docs who did not advocate vegetarianism

Typically, messages will likely be shared containing usually sound recommendation however blended in with further claims which can be clearly deceptive and even probably dangerous. As a result of they’re continuously shared on encrypted social media platforms they are often tough to trace.

Two of India’s main medical establishments and a prime Indian physician have criticised a pretend message broadly shared in WhatsApp teams attributing well being recommendation to them.

The message accommodates an extended record of precautions to take to keep away from getting the virus, a lot of them very smart comparable to social distancing, avoiding crowded areas and observing private hygiene.

But it surely additionally advises a vegetarian weight loss program, and to keep away from sporting belts, rings or wristwatches.

None of those measures has been proven to guard in opposition to the virus.

Dietary recommendation from the WHO referring to Covid-19 suggests consuming some meat as well as eating fruit and vegetables, in order to have a balanced diet and stay healthy.

2. The flu vaccine will not put you at better danger of Covid-19

This is a crucial one to spotlight as a result of it factors to an actual research, however attracts deceptive conclusions from it.

A broadly shared Fb submit claims in case you’ve had a flu jab you are considerably extra prone to contract Covid-19.

The submit hyperlinks to a study published by the US military as proof.

However this research was printed in October 2019, earlier than the Sars-CoV-2 virus accountable for Covid-19 was recognized, and the information utilized in it was from the 2017-18 flu season.

For the avoidance of doubt, there isn’t any proof {that a} flu jab will increase your danger of contracting Covid-19.

The steering from the US Facilities for Illness Management is obvious: “Influenza vaccination doesn’t make folks extra vulnerable to different respiratory infections.”

3. Extended sporting of face masks is just not dangerous

One other deceptive article being shared on social media claims the extended sporting of masks is harmful to well being.

The declare first appeared on-line in Spanish and was circulated broadly in South and Central America.

A translation later made its approach into English-language retailers, together with a Nigerian information website which was shared greater than 55,000 occasions on Fb.

The article claims extended respiratory whereas sporting masks results in inhalation of carbon dioxide, which makes folks dizzy and in addition deprives the physique of oxygen. It recommends lifting the masks each 10 minutes.

Dr Richard Mihigo, of the World Well being Group, advised the BBC that the claims usually are not true and will truly be harmful.

“Non-medical and medical masks are constructed from woven cloth that has excessive breathability. The masks ought to permit you to breathe usually and stop particles from passing by means of,” he stated.

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Media captionCoronavirus: Find out how to put on a face overlaying?

He additionally says the recommendation that individuals ought to maintain lifting the masks to inhale to keep away from dangerous results might expose them to contamination.

There are some conditions during which face masks may not be suggested:

  • kids beneath two whose lungs have not absolutely developed
  • folks with respiratory circumstances who could wrestle to breathe

4. Smoking does not assist push back the virus

And this is a declare that retains recurring, one which people who smoke want to be true – however is not.

There is no proof that they are much less prone to be in danger from Covid-19, however there are many articles that recommend they is likely to be be.

This one, for instance from the UK Mail On-line – shared tens of hundreds of occasions, suggests there’s “more evidence smoking may cut the risk of coronavirus”. 

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Smoking can have critical well being penalties

It stated a evaluate of research from quite a few international locations confirmed that people who smoke are much less widespread amongst Covid-19 sufferers who find yourself in hospital than can be anticipated.

It added that consultants have been struggling to elucidate if there was a connection.

One research by a number one French hospital instructed that it may very well be nicotine which is likely to be stopping the Covid-19 an infection spreading.

Analysis is happening to check what influence nicotine patches and nicotine alternative therapies might need on the coronavirus. 

However the WHO says: “There may be at present inadequate info to substantiate any hyperlink between tobacco or nicotine within the prevention or therapy of Covid-19.”

It provides that people who smoke are extra weak to critical sickness from coronavirus because of other health issues associated with smoking.

And there is been clear medical recommendation that individuals who smoke ought to stop in the course of the present pandemic because it might improve their probabilities of a extreme type of lung illness.

Analysis by Shruti Menon in Delhi and Peter Mwai in Nairobi

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