Another rumor has spread around the network: regular drinking water and retaining the moisture of the oral mucosa can protect against viruses. Online resource BBC Future journalists decided to find out if it was
At first, someone made a strange suggestion that coronovirus could be cured with cocaine. After the spread of this wrong and dangerous idea on the social network, the French government also had to publish an official statement saying that it was not true. Allegations were then made that salvation required abandonment of ice cream, which was to be denied by UNICEF, which clarified that they were absolutely baseless. In the end, an extremely dangerous and reality idea had nothing to do with which the infection could be avoided by using a disinfectant.
Although the coronavirus epidemic began just a few weeks ago, it has already given rise to many online myths and urban legends about how to prevent the disease. One of these legends states that drinking water can prevent infection. Let us try to explain why this is extremely low.
In original publications appearing on social networks, it is said of the need to ensure that the oral cavity and larynx are always moist, for which you should drink water every 15 minutes. The rationale is that it will help the virus “flush” with the esophagus in the stomach, where gastric juice will “kill” it.
“It’s such a simple approach that I don’t even know what to say,” says Kalpana Sabapati, a practicing epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Sabapati reported that infection often occurs after exposure to thousands or millions of viral particles, so it is unlikely that a small amount of flushing through the esophagus can have any significant effect. There is a “forest” gaping hole in the argument that the possibility of completely washing the virus particles into the stomach with water is near zero, she says. – The fact is that by this time they are probably in the nasopharynx as well. And here’s a major drawback of this idea. Even if the virus has not yet managed to penetrate the cells of the respiratory tract, it can easily enter the body another way. Douche The fingers may become infected by touching, others get the infection through your nose or eyes. “
Although it occurs frequently, it is not considered the primary mode of transmission of the virus. The main risk is the detection of small drops of water produced by coughing and sneezing, each containing thousands of viral particles.
However, this is not all. The drinking water method is another reason for not working. Presumably, the idea that as soon as the Kovid-19 particle enters the stomach, it will be instantly destroyed seems reassuring to many. Eventually, gastric juice has a pH of one to three, that is, it is nearly equal in chemical activity to battery acid, capable of dissolving steel. A few years ago, scientists also came up with a way to use it as an energy source.
However, viruses can be much more difficult than all of us. After the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus surfaced in Saudi Arabia in 2012, researchers found that this pathogen, a close relative of Kovid-19, is “very resistant” to the action of slightly dilute acids that have recently been found in the human stomach Can be found in Eating food. Scientists have indicated that the virus was able to “colonize” the digestive system of one of the patients, and showed that it is able to readily assimilate into intestinal cells. The group suggested that the virus may be infected.
It is not yet clear whether this is true for Kovid-19. Some patients report symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea, and more recently, Chinese doctors have reported that coronavirus can infect the digestive system. According to one report, in half of the people infected with Kovid-19, the virus is contained in the feces for a long time after clearing the lungs.
Perhaps the most convincing argument is that there is no research on whether drinking water can help prevent Kovid-19 infection. Therefore, this method is not based on scientific data or facts, but is based on an unconfirmed hypothesis. However, in fact, a study about related topics was done 15 years ago.
The purpose of this experiment was to find out if rinsing with water can prevent respiratory infections, as this practice is very popular in Japan. Scientists found that for two months, participants who rinse the nasopharynx with water three times a day were less likely than those who actually reported respiratory symptoms, who were rinsed with antiseptic solutions and who did so Not used at all. However, it is not a fact that this is true for Kovid-19, but unfounded assumptions are always dangerous.
First, this study focused on upper respiratory tract infections, which mainly affect the sinuses, throat, and airways, while Kovid-19 affects the lower part of the respiratory tract, deep into the chest and lungs. Enters. Secondly, it should be noted that this was a relatively small study, moreover, the participants themselves reported their symptoms, and were not subject to an objective assessment of the condition. Furthermore, each of them knew which group he was a member of. Such a study is considered less reliable than the so-called “gold standard” – a placebo-controlled study based on random sampling.
Sabapati believes that, although at first glance the advice to drink water on a regular basis may seem safe enough, it is important to expose this misconception as soon as possible. The danger is a false sense of security. “People will think that by following this recommendation, they are guaranteed against infection,” she says. “It distracts from too many important precautions.”
The irrefutable data indicate that the best approach is to deny unnecessary social contacts and thorough hand washing. Therefore, the doctor recommends to release water and use soap instead.