1st April, 2020 No Fooling Around With COVID-19. Let’s sift Fiction from Fact!


It may be the April Fools’ Day but this is definitely not a day to fool around with COVID-19 a very lethal viral infection

Questions from Questionable Social Media Sources: Let’s Sift Myths and Fiction from Scientific Evidence.

Myth: Corona virus does not survive in hot weather. 

Fact: This is not true. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot climate. Nigeria is currently hot but we have already seen one hundred and sixty three cases in Nigeria at the time I wrote this. They are not all returnees from abroad. Some people who got it did not have any travel history. We have cases of community spread not only imported cases.

Cautious Optimism: Some respiratory viruses wane off with warm weather, but we can make no assumptions because this is a new virus which used to infect animals; we do not know a lot about how it affects humans. However, medical experts are hoping that hot weather will reduce the impact.

Question: I saw a video with a man advising people to inhale steam over a pot of boiling hot water with lemon, does this work to kill the virus?

Answer: NO.

DO NOT TRY placing your face over a pot of boiling hot water with lemons or whatever concortions. That is very dangerous. I saw the video, the lady in question actually had hair extensions which could easily catch fire. She could get badly scalded by the hot steam or hot water or she could even get electrocuted as she was leaning over an electric cooker. Please don’t share such risky video.

Question: Does taking lemons kill the virus? Answer: Lemons don’t kill the virus, but they are a good source of Vitamin C. Moreover lemon, ginger and honey have been known to soothe colds and cough.

FACT: Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a good anti-oxidant and may help to boost your immunity. You can take up to 500mg or even 1000mg. However it is acidic which means that individuals who suffer from peptic ulcer disease or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should use Vitamin C with caution or avoid it.

Question: Does hand dryers kill the virus?

Answer: No, the World Health Organization insists that hand dryers are not effective.

Question: Does bleach kill the virus?

Answer: Yes, unexpired household bleach solutions will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Do not drink this solution, do not wash your body with it.

Make this bleach solution by mixing 5tablespoons (one third cup) of bleach in one gallon of water (3.78litres). An easy way to measure this is to measure using 5 bottles using the 75cl bottle. There are many brands of bottled water that have 75cl size. Use one of these 75cl bottles and measure 5 times into your container, add 5tablespoons (approximately 75ml) of bleach. You don’t have to use bottled water, tap water is fine. Make sure the bleach is minimum 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite. You can use this solution for cleaning certain surfaces.

FACT: Diluted household bleach is a good disinfectant for surfaces and floors. Test on a small portion or refer to manufacturer’s manual to confirm that dilute bleach is not contraindicated. Note that it can damage certain surfaces and some fabrics.

Question: Hand sanitizers are no longer available in the stores. Can I make my own hand sanitizer at home?

Answer: Hand sanitizers are best made by well trained formulators because they are regulated just the way drugs are regulated. Your best option is to wash your hands very well with soap and water. Wet your hands, apply soap, lather and rub very well for 20seconds. Sing any popular song that takes about 20seconds to sing, eg. Happy birthday to you or Joleen,Joleen, Joleen or Praise God Alleluia. Then rinse. You can time your own songs that can help you time 20seconds.

Question: What about the hand sanitizer recipe that contains germ killing essential oil, two third cup of 70% alcohol and one third cup aloe vera gel? It is said to have up to 60% alcohol.

Answer: Formulators use weight and not volume as unit of measurement. Aloe vera gel is very questionable in that recipe, you can add a lot more germs to the hand sanitizer that you are making by using home made aloe vera gel. If you decide to use store bought aloe vera gel, it may have other contents.

 For your personal use, you don’t need the gel feel, you can have your hand sanitizer in the spray form. If you must go out with a hand sanitizer, use the World Health Organization recipe.

CAUTION: Alcohol is very flammable, be careful with all alcohol based hand sanitizers whether you bought them in the store or made them yourself.

About essential oils in hand sanitizer, you don’t NEED to have essential oil in your hand sanitizer. Above 60% alcohol is effective. Don’t mess with essential oils without any pre-knowledge, they have so many dos and dont’s. Essential oils can be dangerous if you use them wrongly, many of them need to be diluted, some are phototoxic so you should not expose skin to sun after using them eg. citrus essential oils like lemon, bergamot.

Question: Doc, we read about chloroquine and azithromycin on this blog on March 2nd, 2020, what is the dose and how do we take it?

Answer: Don’t take them for prevention. If you are sick, see your doctor. Our posts are for informational purposes, I shared two abstracts showing results of a small study to let you all know the limited knowledge we had at that time. As this is a new virus infecting humans, the medical experts are updating their knowledge day by day as we get more information on the way this virus behaves in humans.

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE CHLOROQUINE AND AZITHROMYCIN WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION. You need to have your doctor monitor your heart once he/she gives you these medications at the doses recommended to be helpful with COVID 19. This is not a Joke. We have more patients with chloroquine toxicity in Nigeria than the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus positive patients.

REMEMBER: ALL DRUGS are poisons, always allow your doctors to make an educated decision ensuring that the benefits of each drug outweigh the deleterious effect. AGAIN, This is not a Joke. THIS IS NOT APRIL’S FOOL

There are more questions about tonic water and bitter lemon; onions; garlic. Join Dr Uche tomorrow as we continue to look at more questions.

Live Right, Live Long!

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