WHO advocates against using garlic, salt water against coronavirus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that eating garlic and regularly rinsing the nose with saline solution will not guard against coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV).

Information obtained from WHO’s website on Monday, February 3; dispelled various myths and rumours surrounding coronavirus that could potentially harm the public’s health.

WHO refuted some of the myths and rumours; noting that garlic was a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties.

“However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from 2019-nCoV,” it said.

Also, it noted that there was no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline solution has protected people from the coronavirus infection.

“There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the infection on the surface. These include bleach, chlorine-based disinfectants, solvents, 75 percent ethanol, peracetic acid, and chloroform.

“However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin,” it said.

The organisation stressed that there was no evidence that gargling mouthwash can protect people from 2019-nCoV infection.

“Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection,” the world health body said.

WHO also noted that it was safe to receive packages from China; adding that such people were not at risk of contracting coronavirus through the package.

“From the previous analysis, we know that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as objects or packages,” it said.

Also, it said that vaccines against pneumonia such as the Pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine; does not provide protection against the new virus.

“The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV and WHO is supporting the efforts.

“These vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV. Vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health,’’ the health organisation said.

It advised countries to prepare to communicate rapidly, regularly and transparently with their citizens.

WHO also urged countries to prepare existing public health communication networks, media and community engagement staff to be ready for a possible case and for the appropriate response if it happens.

Ng daily

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