A viral message claims that Malaysian experts found that gargling with Betadine and Listerine can prevent COVID-19!
Find out what’s going on, and what the facts really are!
Claim : Gargling Betadine + Listerine Prevents COVID-19!
This graphics has been circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook with the claim (in Bahasa Malaysia and English) :
Can Betadine + Listerine Prevent COVID-19? No, They Cannot!
Here is the short, TLDR summary – NO, gargling Betadine or Listerine mouthwash will NOT kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and prevent it from infecting you.
For those who want to learn more WHY this is just another Internet hoax…
Fact #1 : SARS-CoV-2 Is A Respiratory Virus
SARS-CoV-2 infects mainly through respiratory droplets that you BREATHE in.
No amount of gargling with Betadine or Listerine mouthwash can prevent you from breathing in SARS-CoV-2, and getting infected.
Fact #2 : LISTERINE Cannot Prevent COVID-19
LISTERINE ís an antiseptic mouthwash, that has little to no antiviral properties. Some formulations have alcohol, but only up to 20%.
Johnson & Johnson even has a special page to warn people that LISTERINE is NOT intended to “reduce the risk of, prevent or treat COVID-19 infections”.
It also warns against using it to sanitise your hands or surfaces, because it simply will NOT kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Fact #3 : Betadine Cannot Prevent COVID-19
Betadine mouthwash uses povidone iodine, but it has not been demonstrated to be effective at killing the COVID-19 virus.
In fact, Avrio Health has a special page to warn people that Betadine has NOT been demonstrated to be “effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 or any other viruses.
Fact #4 : KKM Confirms It’s Fake News
In a post posted on 13 January 2021, Dr. Iqbal Rosali, a dentist from the Ministry of Health, confirmed that this is fake news.
He also explained that in dentistry, mouthwash is used to reduce the risk of getting infected by their patients (who may have COVID-19).
Before doing a procedure that can create an aerosol (filling, scaling), the patient will be asked to gargle with mouthwash.
Fact #5 : Mouthwash Protects Dentists, Not Users
Studies like this show that povidone iodine is effective in reducing the viral load in a patient’s mouth.
This helps to reduce the risk of an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient unknowingly infecting the dentist.
However, it does not prevent the mouthwash user from getting infected. It only protects the dentist.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotspots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
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