March 17, 2020 / 2:41 PM / 17 days ago

False claim: Gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar will kill the coronavirus

Social media users have been sharing an image with text claiming that gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar  will eliminate the coronavirus ( here )​.

The text says: “Corona virus  before it reaches the lungs it remains in the throat for four days and at this time the person begins to cough and have throat pains. If he drinks water a lot and gargling with warm water & salt or vinegar eliminates the virus. Spread this information because you can save someone with this information.”​

The World Health Organization explains on its "myth busters" page that there is no evidence to suggest that salt water eliminates the coronavirus. It acknowledges that there is some limited evidence that rinsing the nose using saline (salt water) may help people recover from a cold faster, but that this has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections. ( here )​.

Johns Hopkins Medicine also rejected the notion that gargling with salt water helps protect against coronavirus ( here ).

Gargling with salt water has proven to be effective as a home remedy for a sore throat ( here ), and while a sore throat is a possible symptom of coronavirus, it isn’t among the most common.

Reuters was unable to find any official government or medical advisory recommending the use of saline or vinegar to eliminate the virus.

VERDICT

False: Gargling with saline or vinegar has not been proven to prevent the coronavirus

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here  .​

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