It happens almost every time there’s a crisis from a natural disaster to a global pandemic.
Your well-meaning relative or friend of a friend shares a post on Facebook filled with helpful advice that sounds like it could be true but it’s not.
The problem is, as noted by Buzzfeed and other publications, these posts get shared thousands of times and it’s next to impossible to get the toothpaste back in the tube.
This is, of course, happening with the coronavirus.
A widely shared post on Facebook and Instagram claiming to be from Stanford University is filled with false, harmful statements about the virus giving people a false sense of security.
Several KGW viewers reached out and asked us to Verify the viral post.
The bogus post claims in part:
Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection.
In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.
Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases advise : Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus.
If you don't drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That's very dangerous. Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.
Health experts say most of this information is false.
First of all, it’s not from Stanford University. The director of communications referred anyone with questions to the university’s coronavirus information page.
Doctors say the claim about holding your breath to test yourself for coronavirus is just not true.
“That’s not true. That can check if you are anxious or have respiratory compromise,” but not tell you if you have coronavirus, according to Dr. Loren Rauch, a doctor at Antelope Valley Hospital in Los Angeles.
Another false claim, according to several experts, “that drinking water every 15 minutes will wash coronavirus “down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus.”
Health experts also told Mother Jones that the post’s claim the virus can be “killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees” is also wrong.
Doctors say the best prevention is to practice social distancing, wash your hand and avoid touching your face.
KGW can Verify the viral post claiming holding your breath can test you for the coronavirus is false.
Do you have something you want us to Verify? Let us know. Email us at Verify@kgw.com