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Drinking hot water, lemon and baking soda will not cure coronavirus

April 2, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Israel has had no deaths from coronavirus because people in the country have been cured by drinking hot water with lemon and bicarbonate of soda at night.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The drink is not a cure for the coronavirus and there have been deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Israel.

THE FACTS: Coronavirus deaths have been on the rise globally and in Israel. As of Thursday, Israel had confirmed more than 6,360 cases of the virus and 33 deaths.

Posts circulating on social media falsely state that “the action of the lemon with hotter baking soda immediately kills the virus, completely eliminates it from the body.” The false claim was shared widely across Facebook and on WhatsApp. 

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Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, told The Associated Press that like this claim, nothing should be presumed to prevent or treat unless it has gone through clinical trials. 

“There are no herbal remedies I would recommend for COVID-19,” she said. 

Medical experts have said that getting a vaccine for the virus could take 12-18 months. Dr. Doron recommends that people keep a well-rounded healthy diet, get sleep and minimize their stress because those factors affect the immune system. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands and social distancing as two important steps people can take to prevent the spread of the virus.  

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

 Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536

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