Steam Inhalation Neither Protects Against Covid-19 Infection nor Does It Cure From It
There is no evidence that steam inhalation works as a treatment for coronavirus. On the contrary, it can be harmful, Dr Simona Sapundzija, a specialist in otorhinolaryngology, told “Truthmeter”. Dr Benjamin Neumann, a Coronavirus expert who chairs the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University, says the lungs are tender, and if the steam is very hot, it is not a good combination. Neither the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests steam therapy with any ingredient as a medicine against Coronavirus
A post on Facebook shared a media article in which a Croatian doctor otorhinolaryngologist claims that inhalation three times a day can prevent Coronavirus infection. In doing so, he offers a prescription, which he claims is effective in protecting against Covid-19.
The post says:
Prescription from an otorhinolaryngologist; Boiling water with Sea salt and Apple cider vinegar, add 7-8 drops of sweet wormwood essential oil (Artemisia annua)… INHALATION UNDER TOWEL!!!
There is no evidence that steam inhalation works as a treatment for coronavirus, on the contrary, it can be harmful, Dr. Simona Sapundzija, a specialist in otorhinolaryngology, told Truthmeter.
There is still no scientific evidence that promotes inhalation of any substances that can “expel” the Covid-19 or reduce the replication of the virus. However, what can happen with inhalations of unapproved substances is to cause allergic reactions, and high temperatures can cause burns to the initial parts of the respiratory system, – says Sapundzija.
Dr Jason McKnight, Assistant Professor of Primary Health Care at A&M University in Texas, told AFP that “inhaling steam will not cure coronavirus infection and the treatment can cause serious and long-term complications.”
In general, people may find that inhaling steam during any sort of respiratory illness helps with their symptoms, such as cough, nasal congestion and chest congestion. However, this is only symptomatic relief and it is not a treatment for any viral infection. And you have the potential to cause real harm to yourself through burns from the heated water vapor to your eyes, face and airways, which if severe enough could cause serious and long-term complications, McKnight said.
Dr Benjamin Neumann, a coronavirus expert who chairs the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University, says the lungs are tender, and if the steam is very hot, it is not a good combination.
“Hot steam can damage the lungs, and the idea that it can fight the virus, which also damages the lungs, is really bad advice,” he said.
Exposure to 60-degree water for just 3 seconds can lead to skin burns that would be serious enough for surgery, according to the American Burn Association.
Hot water will burn skin at temperatures much lower than boiling point (212°F/100°C). In fact, it only takes 3 seconds of exposure to 140°F/60°C water to cause a burn serious enough to require surgery. Hence, set water heaters at 120°F/48°C or just below the medium setting. A safe bathing temperature is 100°F/37°C.
Neither the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests steam therapy with any ingredient as a Coronavirus medicine.
The World Health Organization emphasizes that the most effective preventive measures against Covid-19 infection include:
- Wearing protective masks
- Washing your hands regularly with soap or alcohol-based gel
- Maintaining a social distance of at least one meter, especially from people who sneeze or cough
- Avoiding touching eyes and mouth
- Practising respiratory hygiene, which means sneezing inside the elbow or in a handkerchief, which is then immediately removed.
Dr Sapundzija says that at this moment respecting preventive measures is the only recipe for prevention of Covid-19 and reminds that all those who have symptoms or a positive Covid-19 test should self-isolate.
For the past two years, doctors have been tirelessly struggling to prove that adherence to preventative measures is the only way to deal with the pandemic. Such announcements, which are not scientifically proven papers, would only take back everything that has been achieved so far. From my experience with Covid-19, I have the impression that people want to choose the “easier way out” and thus cause more damage to both their health and the health of the environment, – she added.