Holding Your Breath for 10 Seconds Is Not a Reliable Coronavirus Test

Here's what you need to know about that viral breathing test for coronavirus.

There is a lot of information out there about coronavirus, but unfortunately, much of it is simply not true. Take, for example, the simple 10-second home breath test for coronavirus that's made the rounds on social media, attributed to an unnamed Japanese doctor: "If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds then you don't have coronavirus." Even celebrities like Amy Schumer have shared it! But it turns out that breathing test isn't to be trusted.

The Associated Press consulted medical experts who say "the test would not provide a clear indication of whether someone has the novel coronavirus."

Social media users are sharing the false claim on platforms that include What's App, Twitter, and Facebook. The claim, which has three parts, first says that if a coronavirus patient goes to the hospital too late their lungs will experience 50 percent fibrosis, scarring of the lungs that restricts breathing. It goes on to suggest the 10 second breathing test, finally stating that drinking water every 15 minutes will kill the virus.

Sadly, there is a long list of myths about curing or avoiding coronavirus in addition to the 10-second breathing test and drinking lots of water. Drinking silver solution? Not going to help you. Boiling garlic in water? Waste of garlic and water. Eating kale, avoiding ice cream, or consuming essential oils or Chinese herbs? Nope, nope, and nope.

What we know about coronavirus is this: It's officially a global pandemic and the worst is yet to come. The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), Anthony Fauci, MD, has warned that coronavirus is going to get much worse in the U.S. before it gets better. Also, there has been a dangerously low amount of actual coronavirus tests so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So how does one reduce the spread of COVID-19 and limit their risk of getting sick? Right now, there are some very simple rules to follow:

  1. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching your face.
  3. Limit interaction with others by avoiding large groups.

And until we know more, it's best to ignore internet-based coronavirus tips that sound too good to be true and instead, just use common sense.


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