DON’T hold your breath to test for the virus

A number of posts online have claimed that “to test for the new coronavirus, take a deep breath and hold for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, discomfort, stuffiness or tightness it proves there is no fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicating no infection.”

There is no evidence to suggest this test can show if you have the new coronavirus.

DON’T sip water or gargle to ‘cure’ or prevent the virus

Posts have claimed that sipping liquid often can wash the virus into your stomach where stomach acid will destroy it, and that gargling warm water can cure the virus.

This is incorrect. Gargling salt water may soothe a sore throat, and people are advised to drink water in order to stay hydrated when they are ill with either flu or the new coronavirus.

However, there is no evidence that an infection with the new coronavirus can be prevented or cured by drinking water or gargling.

DON’T rely on the sun

Online posts have claimed that “this new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.”

There’s no evidence for this. There’s evidence that similar viruses transmit less well in the heat, but many countries with reported Covid-19 cases are experiencing temperatures higher than this.

DO be aware of the symptoms

The main symptoms of the coronavirus infection, officially known as Covid-19, are a cough and a high temperature.

Additionally, if you have Covid-19, you may also experience other symptoms in addition to the ones above (for example, shortness of breath, aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea). Rashes are not a symptom of the virus.

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the new coronavirus— they’re also similar to more common illnesses, such as cold and flu.

But a runny nose and sputum doesn’t definitely rule out the virus.

If you have a question about your personal health and you are in the UK, the best place to go remains the NHS.

If you feel ill, particularly if you have symptoms of Covid-19 (either a new, continuous cough or a high temperature) use the online 111 service. If you have these symptoms, you should self-isolate in your home, and you should not go to your GP, a pharmacy or a hospital. More information on what you need to do if your condition gets worse can be found from the NHS.

DO be vigilant

Just because it was shared by someone you know, it doesn’t make it true. Make sure to check whether the information has come from a reliable, trusted source.

We may have fact checked the claim already, so it’s worth searching for the claim in our search bar at the top of the Full Fact homepage.

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