We understand the measures people are willing to take to avoid catching COVID-19 let alone the general flu. However some methods are more fiction than fact.

There are lots of variations of the advice suggesting heat kills the virus, from recommending drinking hot water to taking hot baths, or using hairdryers.

One post, copied and pasted by dozens of social media users in different countries – and falsely attributed to Unicef – claims that drinking hot water, bathing in hot water and exposure to the sun will kill the virus, and says ice cream is to be avoided. This is, of course, wholly untrue.

We know the flu virus doesn’t survive well outside the body during the summer, but we don’t yet know how heat impacts the new coronavirus. Trying to heat your body or expose yourself to the sun – presumably to make it inhospitable to the virus – is completely ineffective, according to Professor Sally Bloomfield, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Once the virus is in your body, there’s no way of killing it – your body just has to fight it off. Outside the body, “to actively kill the virus you need temperatures of around 60 degrees [Celsius]”, says Prof Bloomfield – far hotter than any bath.

Washing bed linen or towels at 60° is a good idea, as this can kill any viruses in the fabric. But it’s not a good option for washing your skin. And having a hot bath or drinking hot liquids won’t change your actual body temperature of 36.5° to 37°, which remains stable unless you are already ill.

Actually, taking a hot bath or shower with extremely hot water or over exposure to the sun can be harmful, as it can burn you and may cause permanent scarring and damage. So to put it simply, taking a hot bath or sun tanning will NOT prevent you from catching COVID-19. In the event of on accidental burn, immediately apply Burnshield to the affected area and seek medical help.

The best way to protect your self from COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands with soap and water (normal temperature). By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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