Claim: Steam therapy cures coronavirus
Source: Facebook pages
Researched by Rabiu Alhassan
As the number of deaths and confirmed coronavirus cases surge across the world, so has there been a global rise in the spread of misinformation and disinformation around the virus.
Some social media users have continued to promote a dangerous trend of self-medication with untested treatments for the coronavirus while the search for potential treatments and cure by health professionals continue unabated.
While one video encouraged the inhalation of steam from boiling water, others suggested “power fruits and vegetables” should be added to the boiling water before inhalation.
“Temperatures of around 56°C and more destroy viruses generally including the coronavirus. But what I cannot vouch for is the claim that heat therapy [cures coronavirus]. I don’t have any scientific basis for the claim. I don’t have any proof so it is not a claim I can standby.”
General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Justice Yankson stated in an interview with GhanaFact and expressed concern people might suffer burns in such heightened humidity.
According to the senior medical practitioner, claims by people who have recovered from some ailments after undergoing the steam therapy were not proven cases of coronavirus.
The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie responding to this claim also said:
” Somebody using it [Steam therapy] and saying that he has found some result nobody can challenge it. But then to say that it is effective it should be subject to randomized trial…This one I don’t know, and I’ve not read anywhere where this has been done. So, based on this principle it becomes difficult for us scientists to come out clearly to say it is helpful or not.”
One of the videos on Facebook comes with a disclaimer: “This video is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.”
However, the caption of the video on Facebook was “Hot Water Steam Therapy For Corona.”
The World Health Organization’s website page offering advice to the public about the virus does not mention Steam inhalation as one of the protective measures against the new coronavirus.
GhanaFact has not found any positive correlation and therefore rates the claim as unproven.