The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday clarified the controversy over the various preventive measures following the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In a series of infographics on its Instagram page, the United Nations health agency responded to the questions of preventing the killer disease by eating garlic and using saline solution among others.
Dispelling various rumours surrounding the 2019-nCoV, WHO said there was no evidence that coronavirus could be prevented with such measures.
It noted that while garlic was a healthy food with some antimicrobial properties, no proof has shown that eating the root crop could protect people from coronavirus.
For those wondering if rinsing their nose with saline could escape 2019-nCoV, WHO responded, “No.”
“There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus,” it said.
The health agency, however, noted that “limited evidence” proved that regularly rinsing the nose with saline could help recover more quickly from the common cold.
It added that gargling mouthwash, which was also another preventive measure trending on social media, does not have any evidence to prove it could protect people from infection.
According to WHO, some brands of mouthwash are capable of eliminating certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in the mouth of a patient.
It also said thermal scanners could effectively detect people who have developed a fever but not patients infected with the coronavirus.
The agency explained that it could take between two to 10 days before infected persons become sick and develop a fever.
The new coronavirus was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan on December 31, 2019.
The first reported case outside China was in the Philippines.
As of February 3, 2020, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, revealed that a total of 17,238 cases have been confirmed in China with 361 deaths recorded.
He added that 151 additional cases were confirmed outside China in 23 countries while one death was reported from the Philippines on Sunday.
See the infographics below: