A home-made coronavirus test is spreading the Internet. Experts: That's dangerous



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A home-made coronavirus test is spreading the Internet. Experts: That's dangerous



A “simple coronavirus test” has recently started circulating on social networks, which medical experts say is completely ineffective.

This recipe for a home-made test states that people can find out if they have a coronavirus if they hold their breath for more than 10 seconds without coughing. If they cough – they are infected with Covid-19; at least that's what those who share this recipe claim.



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 https://t.co/LlNXeyuejP.

– Stanford University (@Stanford) March 13, 2020

This breath-taking announcement, which began circulating on Twitter, Facebook and mails last week, was falsely attributed to a Stanford Hospital board member. Lisa Kim, a spokeswoman for Stanford Health Care Hospital, told CNN that this “dangerous” announcement was in no way affiliated with or originated from employees of that medical facility and “contained inaccurate information.”

CNN interviewed epidemiologist Robert Legare Atmar of Baylor College of Medicine to expose any false information contained in publications of this kind.

If you drink plenty of water, you can prevent coronavirus infection

One post circulating on the Internet states that the virus can reach the lungs if we do not drink enough water and that it is necessary to drink water “at least every 15 minutes” to wash the virus through the throat and stomach.

Epidemiologist Atmar said there is no scientific evidence that this approach works.

“Even if by any chance it works, people breathe through the nose and not just through the mouth. So that would only protect the mouth and not the nose,” Atmar explained.

If you bite water mixed with salt, you can prevent coronavirus infection

This recipe states that to protect against coronavirus infection, it is sufficient to rinse your mouth with a solution of salt in water because such a mixture can kill the virus.

But Atmar warns that there is no confirmation that salt water has an effect on respiratory viruses.

If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you are not infected

“Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you do not cough, if you do not feel discomfort or numbness, it proves that you do not have an inflammatory process in your lungs,” it said in the post we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

But epidemiologist Atmar says it's “not true.”

“When someone has an acute viral infection, it may be difficult for them to take a deep breath and not cough because their airways are irritated. And that's it. That's all it means. It's not any confirmation of an inflammatory process in the lungs or that someone has or no coronavirus, “said the doctor.

If your nose is leaking, you have a virus, not a coronavirus

Another easy tip to distinguish between a cold and a coronavirus infection, which can often be read on Facebook or in e-mail messages is that if you have a runny nose, you do not have a coronavirus.

“This is not completely true. Cough can be a symptom of flu, allergy and other illnesses. Although most coronavirus patients have a dry cough, there were those who had pneumonia caused by Covid-19 and who had a productive cough or one that produces mucus, ”Atmar explained.

When you have a severe cough and end up in hospital, your lungs are already damaged

Another inaccurate theory that goes around on social networks is that when you have a high fever and cough and end up in hospital, you already have permanent lung damage (fibrosis).

“This kind of information is extremely dangerous. Pulmonary fibrosis has been reported in only a minority of Covid-19 patients. 80 percent of those infected have only mild symptoms, so this statement is incorrect,” Atmar said.

Symptoms of coronavirus infection usually begin five to six days after exposure, with cough, sore throat, fever, fever and muscle aches usually occurring in the first week. Only a minority of those infected in the second week will have severe respiratory symptoms that can lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Although we all need to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, spreading false information can also be dangerous, and in some cases, deadly.

A home-made coronavirus test is spreading the Internet. Experts: That's dangerous

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