Coronavirus

Online posts have claimed to reveal various “cures” for the new coronavirus. Some are benign, like eating boiled garlic, while others are potentially dangerous, like drinking chlorine dioxide, an industrial bleach. Neither will cure the virus.


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Treatments billed as miracle cures have cropped up across the internet since the new coronavirus, known as 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, began spreading in Wuhan, China, at the end of December.

One rumor claims that boiled garlic can cure the virus. Another says that loading up on vitamin C will do the trick. Yet another would have people, essentially, drink bleach.

None of these “cures” will treat the virus.

We’re addressing each of these widely circulated claims in separate articles, starting with the most dangerous one — the claim that drinking chlorine dioxide will cure the virus.

Chlorine dioxide kits are sold online under various names — Miracle Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, Master Mineral Solution — but they are most often referred to as MMS.

But MMS hucksters sell the chemical solution as a cure-all for cancer, AIDS, autism and, now, the novel coronavirus.

These kits typically include a bottle of sodium chlorite and a bottle of an “activator” such as citric acid. When the two chemicals are mixed together, they make chlorine dioxide, a common industrial bleach used in the production of paper products, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

None of that is true. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and similar agencies in the U.K.CanadaNew Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, have warned against the use of MMS.

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