Cures and prevention

No evidence ibuprofen makes Covid-19 worse, say experts

A post widely shared on Facebook in South Africa claims that ibuprofen makes the new coronavirus multiply faster.

It says “doctors from university of Vienna” are blaming the high Covid-19 death rate in Italy on patients taking “Advil/ibuprofen/mypaid/myprodol to control fever”.  But medical experts including from the named university have dismissed this, while the WHO says it does not advice against ibuprofen. Get the details here.

No, US scientists haven’t created coronavirus vaccine

A message doing the rounds on social media is jubilant. “Great news! Carona virus vaccine ready. Able to cure patient within 3 hours after injection. Hats off to US Scientists,” it reads.

The message also claims that US president Donald Trump has “announced that Roche Medical Company will launch the vaccine next Sunday, and millions of doses are ready from it”. This is false. Read why.

Hot baths, hot hand dryers and other heat will NOT kill coronavirus

“The doctors who help with dealing with SARS virus are recommending we use hand dryers or a sauna bath to manage or to prevent this coronavirus,” says a woman in a video circulating on Facebook since 17 March 2020.

The World Health Organization says this is not true. Read why here.


No, lemon and baking soda mix doesn’t cure Covid-19

A message circulating on WhatsApp in Nigeria claims that “lemon and bicarbonate” taken as “hot tea” can cure Covid-19. It says the “information comes from Israel” where “this virus did not cause any death”.

It claims the “remedy” is “why the People of Israel is relaxed about this virus”.

But this claim about lemon and bicarbonate is false. Read why here.

No, breathing steam from boiling orange or lemon peels doesn’t cure or prevent coronavirus

A video shared on WhatsApp claims heating orange peels to boiling point and breathing in the steam can prevent the new coronavirus.

In the video, a woman shows how to make the mixture. She says you must “inhale the steam because from what we have heard, coronavirus enters through the nose, which is really cold, colder than other parts of the body”.

But there is no evidence for this.

Photo not of Italian doctors dead from Covid-19 – it’s from TV drama Grey’s Anatomy

A Kenyan Facebook post, viewed thousands of times, shares a photo of people in medical scrubs lying on the floor of what appears to be an operating theatre, mid-operation.

The caption claims the photo is of “some bodies among the 200 doctors in Italy who died yesterday of coronavirus”.

But the photo is a still from a 2007 episode of the medical TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, filmed in the US. Read more here.

South African mayor incorrect about Covid-19 ‘vaccine’

Does the mayor of South Africa’s City of Ekurhuleni have a solution to the Covid-19 pandemic? In a March 2020 state of the city address, he proposed using the municipality’s emergency funds “to procure the vaccine Inferon B from Cuba”.
Interferon alpha-2b has been used to treat some earlier strains of coronavirus, but it is no vaccine. Continue reading here for the details.

Chloroquine tested as treatment for Covid-19 – but is not a cure

Has chloroquine – the malaria drug – been proven to cure the new coronavirus? No. It has been tested, but no research shows it is a cure. There have already been reported cases of chloroquine poisoning.

For more details continue reading here.


Coronavirus doesn’t have own pH level, alkaline food won’t ‘beat’ it

“This is to inform us all that the pH for corona virus varies from 5.5 to 8.5,” reads a graphic shared on social media.
It adds: “All we need to do, to beat corona virus, we need to take more of an alkaline foods that are above the above pH level of the Virus.”

But – this information is incorrect. See why.


No, holding your breath isn’t a test for Covid-19

Is holding your breath for ten seconds or more a sign that you do not have Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus? No – there’s many things wrong with this viral message. Read all about them here.

False information about the disease is dangerous. It could make uninfected people think they have the virus. It could also make people who do have the virus think they’re uninfected


Gargling salt or vinegar water will not cure coronavirus

Can Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, be cured by gargling salt or vinegar water?

This is the claim in an image doing the rounds on social media. It says that before coronavirus reaches the lungs, it remains in the throat for four days. At this stage, the virus can be “eliminated” by gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar.

But the advice is false. Get the details why.

False that LGBTQ people in US have demanded ‘first’ treatment for Covid-19

Have LGBTQ people in the US demanded ‘first’ treatment for Covid-19? Have LGBTQ people in the US demanded ‘first’ treatment for Covid-19? This is how the headline of a 14 March 2020 article on the site Pulpit and Pen reads, adding that this is “because they’re so disease-ridden already”.

No. The article’s primary claim, that LGBTQ advocacy groups have demanded to be treated before other people, can be shown to be false. Read why this story is so problematic.


That viral ‘Unicef message’

At a time of great uncertainty around Covid-19, a lot of readers have turned to credible authorities such as the World Health Organization for information. This helpful-looking viral message, about how to avoid infection, is supposedly from Unicef – the United Nations Children’s Fund.

But – it is NOT from Unicef and is a mix of truths and half-truths. Read the full fact-check here.

You can also read Unicef’s denial of the forward here.

Coronavirus is not pneumonia – and symptoms of Covid-19 can be like common cold

A recent Facebook post makes many claims about the new coronavirus causing the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the post’s claims are in line with official advice. But many are incorrect. These include that coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose and the new virus ‘hates the sun and can be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degree. Read the full check here.

No drinking alcohol will not kill the coronavirus

Will alcohol kill the new coronavirus, as what seems to be a screengrab of a CNN news broadcast shared on Facebook in Kenya claims. A reverse image search reveals that the screengrab is frequently manipulated to carry many different messages.

The only alcohol the WHO recommends using to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is an alcohol-based hand rub.


South Africa’s first Covid-19 patient not ‘cured’

South Africa has declared a national disaster, as confirmed cases climbed past 60 less than two weeks after its first case was reported. But no, the country’s first Covid-19 patient, who is now reported to be home, was not “cured”.

Read the details here.


Israel ‘announces first cure’ for coronavirus? Not for Covid-19

The race to develop a drug or vaccine for Covid-19 is on. But did Israeli scientists beat everyone by announcing one in February 2020? Yes, an Israeli research organisation did announce a vaccine – but this was for a different strain of coronavirus and not the one causing Covid 19.

Get the details on why this is misleading here.


Garlic, the Covid-19 slayer? No.

Can Covid-19, as the disease caused by the new coronavirus is known, be cured by garlic or “garlic water” as has been widely shared on social networks? After all, garlic has many benefits to health. But no, curing Covid-19 is not one of them.



‘HIV wonder drugs’ not curing Covid-19

Have doctors cured a coronavirus patient using “HIV wonder drugs” in China? While it has been reported that China was in some cases using certain HIV drugs to treat pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, we found no evidence that a patient infected with coronavirus was cured with HIV drugs.

The global search for an actual cure continues. Read our fact-check here.


Dettol effective against Covid-19? Yet to be tested

Sanitizing and disinfection of surfaces is one of the ways of keeping Covid-19 at bay, the World Health Organization says. But has Dettol been proven to kill bacteria, as well as viruses such as coronavirus?

Previously, specific Dettol products have shown to be effective against certain strains of coronavirus. But the coronavirus spreading at the moment, the 2019-nCoV, has not yet been tested against Dettol products. The firm said it is waiting for this strain to be made available so that it can conduct tests. More details here.


Ghanaian varsity in coronavirus vaccine breakthrough? No.

Several trials for a vaccine against Covid-19 are underway. But did Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology beat them all by successfully creating and testing a coronavirus vaccine? No. The university issued a statement that reports of the breakthrough were false.

And the site that first published it is a known junk site. Read our full fact-check.


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