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VERIFY: No, eating garlic will not protect you from coronavirus; nor will gargling mouthwash

With the spread of the latest strain of the coronavirus, many myths have formed online, about how to protect yourself. The Verify team is looking into what's real.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Question 1:

Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?


No. The World Health Organization said that this is a complete myth. 


The World Health Organization (WHO)


On social media, there is a myth spreading that garlic can be used to protect yourself from the latest strain of the coronavirus.  

"Coronavirus can be cured by one bowl of freshly boiled garlic water," wrote one person on Twitter. 

Others claim that this is an "old Chinese doctor" trick. 

To find out if there is any validity to these claims, The Verify team turned to the WHO, which addressed the question in a "Myth Buster" page on their website. 

"Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties," they wrote. "However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus." 

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Question 2: 

Does gargling mouthwash protect you from infection?


No. The World Health Organization said that there is no evidence that mouthwash can help prevent you from viruses like this latest strain. 




On social media, there are many people making claims about mouthwash protecting you from the latest strain of coronavirus. 

"Aside from washing your hands frequently," wrote one person on Twitter. "You can gargle with strong mouthwash to eliminate or minimize the germs while they are still in your throat." 

To confirm, the Verify Team turned to the WHO, which released a series of "Myth Busters" on their website. 

"There is no evidence," the WHO wrote. "That using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus." 

The WHO wrote that some brands of mouthwash can be effective in eliminating "certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva," although it would not be effective in protecting you from the virus. 

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Question 3:

Can spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body kill the new coronavirus?


No. This will not be effective in killing viruses within the body, and could be harmful as well. 




There is a growing number of people online, who think that spraying yourself with alcohol or chlorine is a good way to protect yourself from the coronavirus. That's why the WHO came out with a warning.

"Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body," the agency said. 

The WHO said that these substances can also be harmful if they get into your mouth or eyes. 

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