A Sampling of the Wild (and Sometimes Dangerous) Things People Are Doing to Prevent the Wuhan Virus

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 4:30 PM
A Sampling of the Wild (and Sometimes Dangerous) Things People Are Doing to Prevent the Wuhan Virus

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending basic and easy steps every individual can and should be doing to help protect themselves and others from the Wuhan virus, but that hasn't stopped some from carrying out all sorts of mythical methods of "prevention" that in some cases, have had dangerous or fatal results. Below is a sampling of some of them.

Drinking bootleg alcohol. 

According to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, dozens of people died in Iran after drinking bootleg alcohol made from methanol, believing it would treat the Wuhan virus. This type of alcohol, Fox News reports, is found in "antifreeze, solvent and fuel."

IRNA said 44 people died from alcohol poisoning as a result, while the semi-independent Mehr News Agency reported that 27 people died. Iran's current death toll from COVID-19 is 291.

Cow urine. 

The verified Twitter account of the Press Trust of India, which has 2.1 million followers, tweeted out advice from Suman Haripriya, a Bharatiya Janata Party member, about how to purify areas. 

"We all know that cow dung is very helpful," she said. "Likewise, when cow urine is sprayed, it purifies an area...I believe something similar could be done with 'gaumutra' and 'gobar' to cure coronavirus."


Dousing your children—not just their belongings—in disinfectant spray and wrapping yourself in shopping bags. 

The video speaks for itself:

Eating lots of garlic. 

While the World Health Organization says garlic does have some antimicrobial properties, it's not going to protect you from the virus...unless perhaps you follow this person's advice. They have a point.

Using cocaine. 

After a myth in France circulated online about how snorting cocaine would somehow protect you from the virus, the government was forced to issue a statement.

Please, just follow the CDC's advice about proper handwashing, not touching your eyes, mouth or nose with unclean hands, avoiding close contact, properly covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if you're feeling unwell, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.