Vitamin C and the flu shot: experts debunk the myths about ways to protect against coronavirus

Since the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, the confusion and misconceptions that can protect you, become as contagious as the virus. The journalists of The New York Times talked to doctors and infectious disease specialists about whether there is truth in the public belief.

Витамин C и прививка от гриппа: эксперты развенчали мифы о способах защиты от коронавируса

Photo: Shutterstock

Hand sanitizer can help protect you

Maybe. Dr. William Shaffner, doctor of medical Sciences, Professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the medical center of Vanderbilt University, says disinfectants for hands, containing over 60% alcohol is effective against viruses such as the coronavirus.

But no one knows for sure if they will work with the current virus. Gels such as Purell, can be particularly useful for young children who may lack the coordination to do a full hand washing procedures recommended by the Centers for control and prevention (CDC), vigorously wash both sides and between fingers for at least 20 seconds.

But handwashing is still crucial and potentially more effectively to protect, as it removes the germs and dirt.

“That’s not enough, said Cody Meissner, doctor of medical Sciences, head of Department of infectious diseases in children at the Medical school of tufts University and a member of the Committee on infectious diseases American Academy of Pediatrics. — Antibacterial soap has no additional benefit. Just be careful — and don’t forget to wash your fingers”

It is necessary to take vitamin C

No. You may be tempted to take vitamin C or other supposedly immunostimulating additives, but their effectiveness is a long — standing misconception. Even in cases of common cold or flu, vitamin C has not demonstrated benefit.

“If there is at least some benefit, it will be very small, said Dr. Shaffner. However, the extra vitamin C will not bring you any harm — “if you just don’t drink his bottles,” said Dr. Frank Esper, doctor of medical Sciences, specialist in infectious diseases at the children’s Cleveland clinic.

“Excess vitamin C can be harmful for stomach and kidneys. There is no evidence that such supplements like zinc, green tea and Echinacea, useful for the prevention of coronavirus, said Dr. mark George. Mulligan, doctor of medical Sciences, the Director of the division of infectious diseases and vaccine center at the medical center of new York Langone. — I don’t recommend spending money on supplements for this purpose”.

All must wear a mask

The President of the United States Donald trump announced on 3 April 2020, the Centers for control and disease prevention recommend that all Americans were “medical cloth” masks in public places.

Earlier, the CDC and the world health organization has advised that people do not need to wear masks unless they are sick or caring for someone who is sick. The researchers came to the conclusion that cases of asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is actually more than previously thought.

Representatives of health urged to preserve N95 masks for doctors and nurses, who are in dire need of protective gear.

Wearing gloves when touching common surfaces such as Elevator buttons

Actually, this should not be done. According to Dr. Esper, wearing gloves “probably ineffective” for preventing the spread of the virus, “because whatever you did not do with them? In the end, the gloves themselves become contaminated”. Dr. Meissner said most of the gloves have small holes.

“Simple hand washing with soap and water is the most proven and the most effective intervention,” said Meisner.

Get vaccinated against the flu

Yes, but not from the coronavirus. In social networks you can find the entry where it is stated that flu shots help prevent the coronavirus. Dr. Shaffner said that although the flu shot does not affect the coronavirus that we’re at the end of the flu season.

According to Dr. Esper, to get a flu shot “very useful” to ensure good overall health.

“You are much more likely to develop influenza than the coronavirus,” said Esper.


Educational program



Special projects