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On social networks, alarmist messages … and often false

In recent days, everyone has received a lot of messages on social networks or private messaging. “Friends of friends” who give advice on how to fight coronavirus. What are they really worth? The 8 o'clock eye consulted his doctor.

It is a text shared massively on all platforms, and very often by private message. Its author, anonymous, said to relay the information “of a researcher collaborating with the working group which fights against the epidemic of coronavirus”.

First advice, according to him: “the virus does not resist heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures of 26-27 degrees: it is therefore often necessary to consume hot drinks (…) and for those who can do, expose yourself to the sun! ”

Bad advice based on a lie, according to Dr Philippe Zerr, general practitioner and member of the French High Authority for Health: “The virus will be the same whether you drink hot or cold water! As for the sun, it's very good for morale, but for the virus, it's really not what to do. The only things to remember is to be three feet away (from people you talk to) and wash your hands all the time. ”

The message also specifies the symptoms to recognize: for example, the virus would not cause “no cold with runny nose”. Still false, according to the doctor: “On the contrary, it is a usual cold virus, that is to say the runny nose, you may have a small cough which may be dry at first and which may become oily afterwards … We have a stuffy nose. What matters is fever and cough ”…

Among the false information, these messages also contain some real good advice, such as “disinfect the keyboard of computers and mobile phones”, or even wash clothes regularly because “detergents can kill (the virus).”

On the internet, there are also many publications extolling the merits of essential oils, against Covid-19. In pharmacies, we ran into an apparently convinced customer who came to look for essential oils… “To protect against the coronavirus”, she explains.

Pharmacist Anne-Marie Checoury is already out of stock: “The demand for essential oils has increased tenfold, because even people who were not sensitive to aromatherapy have turned to that.” It's good for the trade, but is it also effective against coronavirus? Not at all, according to Dr. Philippe Zerr: “essential oils will not protect or cure the coronavirus. We have never seen any effectiveness in reality, with scientific studies, on viruses of any kind. ”

The best course of action known to date against coronavirus is to keep your distance from others, and to wash your hands regularly. You don't have to wait for a fake researcher friend's message to know the trick.

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