You can't cure coronavirus by having a hot bath

You can't cure coronavirus by having a hot bath


As the coronavirus spreads through the UK, so do the wild myths and theories about how to prevent and cure the illness.

We have already debunked the inaccurate claims that gargling salt water will kill the virus, and that apple cider vinegar will cure you if you get sick.

The latest myth that is circulating on Twitter and among the WhatsApp conspiracy theorists, is the notion that heat, applied to the skin, or taking a hot bath will kill the virus.

To be completely clear – this is not true. And we asked a doctor to explain exactly why this theory is nonsense.

‘Once a virus is in your body, it is down to your immune system to kill it off,’ explains Babylon Health Dr Claudia Pastides.

‘Hot baths and hot drinks won’t be able to reach or kill the virus because it lies within cells inside your body. Your body regulates its temperature very carefully and won’t allow it to raise much, despite hot drinks and baths.

‘The best way to kill the virus, if you may have come into contact with it on your skin, is by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitiser.’

Rumours of heat being able to kill off the virus has led to the development of several off-shoot myths. These include the idea that applying heat to your skin, for instance by blowing hot air from a hair dryer, will kill off the virus. Taking hot baths will kill the virus. Drinking hot water will kill off the virus. 

But Dr Claudia says none of these theories have any truth in them and reiterates that your internal body temperature will not change much, no matter what the temperature of your bath or hot drink is.

‘Additionally, there is not yet enough evidence to support that high temperatures kill Sars-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19),’ she adds. ‘We do, however, know from studies of the coronavirus that causes SARS, that temperatures over 56 degrees Celsius can kill it. This is, of course, far too high a temperature for your bath.’

Dr Claudia is working with Babylon Health to cut through the bullshit when it comes to coronavirus and has debunked other myths, including the idea that the virus is man-made and that eating garlic can protect you from the illness.

It’s so important to have the right information at a time like this, so make sure you’re only checking verified sources before jumping on your WhatsApp groups.

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