Social media and some media outlets have reported that drinking hot water can kill the new type of coronavirus in the body.
The main message of the publications is as follows: “Before the coronavirus reaches the lungs, it stays in the throat for 4 days. During this time there is a sore throat and a cough. If you drink a lot of hot water or rinse your throat with hot water with salt, vinegar, lemon juice, the virus will go away.”
Strangely enough, this material with no scientific justification was circulated about 40,000 times from just one Facebook page.
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to study the “mythical” and scientifically proven properties of hot water.
Boiled water against coronavirus
The methods of treating coronavirus with hot water that appeared on social media platforms did not, in fact, remain only on social networks. Almost at the same time, the Malaysian Minister of Health advised the inhabitants of his country to drink not too hot water and thus protect themselves from the virus. The minister’s call incited debates in the country’s parliament, and various experts and the media focused their attention on the hot water issue.
Prior to the news of killing the virus with hot water, social media circulated materials about drinking water once every 15 minutes and constantly keeping the mouth moist in order to be protected from the virus. Specialists have repeatedly been convinced that water, and especially cold water, has beneficial properties for the body and at least cannot be harmful. However, hot water does not protect against coronavirus. The previous type of coronavirus, SARS, for example, resisted up to 56 degrees. But drinking water at that temperature or bathing in hot water does not affect a person’s internal temperature in any way and cannot raise it. On the other hand, high temperature bathing can damage the body and cause burns. The World Health Organization also reports that drinking hot water cannot be helpful in the fight against the coronavirus.
The same is true of other methods mentioned in the publication: lemon water, vinegar, and other remedies do not remove the virus from the human body and cannot help protect it. At least, there is no evidence to support this.