Medical experts warn against social media craze said to treat Covid

·2-min read

A nurse has slammed people who use 'alternative' methods to treat Covid, rather than getting a Covid-19 vaccination. 

US based nurse Lex posted a video to TikTok, recounting an interaction she'd had with a Covid positive patient who refused to get the vaccine and instead took advice from social media that suggested inhaling hydrogen peroxide.

"He told me he had tried nebulising hydrogen peroxide to treat his Covid at home because he'd read it on a Facebook group somewhere," she explained. 

"He then looked me dead in the eye when I asked him why he didn't get the vaccine and said there wasn't enough research."

The nurse blasted alternative methods of treating Covid on TikTok. Source: TikTok
The nurse blasted alternative methods of treating Covid on TikTok. Source: TikTok

The method is the latest wave of at-home treatments anti-vaxxers are touting, claiming they treat Covid.

Some people have self-treated Covid by taking the anti-parasitic medication ivermectin, others are now claiming that putting hydrogen peroxide into a nebuliser (a machine that helps people to breathe in medicine by turning it into a mist) will help cure Covid-19.

What is hydrogen peroxide and does it treat Covid? 

Hydrogen peroxide is a colourless liquid used in some disinfectants and bleaches.

Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW and head of the respiratory group at the Georgia Institute for Global Health, Christine Jenkins, says hydrogen peroxide should "absolutely not" be used to treat Covid.

Ms Jenkins said no controlled studies have been conducted into using hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for Covid, and it is primarily used to sterilise medical equipment. 

"The pure solution is really toxic, you can have some terrible side effects from hydrogen peroxide, 100 per cent hydrogen peroxide is a bleach and does terrible things to your hair for instance, or your skin," she told Yahoo News Australia.

"It does that to the internal surfaces as it burns and is caustic, you know, it's a very dangerous solution at 100 per cent."

Ms Jenkins said the evidence that inhaling hydrogen peroxide is "extremely flimsy".

"There has not been any randomised control trial looking at hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for Covid as a treatment for preventative intervention," she explained.

"Until then, we are completely in the dark, and people are using it on the basis of rumour and urban myth, and as I said it is a sterilising agent".

Ms Jenkins also said when the solution is not properly diluted, it can be extremely harmful.

"It is highly toxic and damaging to the mouth, throat and to the oesophagus.

"Really, there's no scientifically collected evidence at the moment, to say that it is an effective treatment or an effective preventative strategy."

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