The global death toll for coronavirus infection has now reached 116,098 along with 1,872,073 confirmed cases around the world. In the midst of the pandemic, taking additional preventive measures is recommended by most health experts.
However, the flow of false information and bogus products claiming to treat the virus is becoming a big problem. According to the researchers, there are currently no medications or ‘miraculous’ solutions to treat coronavirus.
Therefore, any products that claim to treat or even prevent the infection are not only useless but may even prove to be harmful.
Secondly, people rushing in to buy medicines that prevent COVID-19 can also halt and damage the progress of control of the pandemic by encouraging people to engage in activities that are otherwise not advised as they believe they can protect themselves from the virus.
The problem is most common in supplements and drugs that claim to ‘boost’ the immune system which, in turn, keeps the risk of catching the coronavirus infection low.
Rebecca Dutch, who is a virologist with the University of Kentucky in Lexington, explains “We want to think that there is a quick way to get rid of this. But there is not a product out there that will keep you from getting the coronavirus,”
In accordance with the psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Barrett, the majority of the people assume they understand how the immune system and supplements work which is why there are many who will believe the myth of boosting immunity cuts down the risk of viral infections.
He further adds how there are no science-backed procedures that can improve or boost the immune system. Consequently, there are also no products that can help in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
The two major industry groups that represent and market supplements, the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the American Herbal Products Association, also agreed with the flow of bogus products claiming to treat or prevent coronavirus.
They clarified their stance recently in a statement in the words “We are not aware of any clinical research studies that demonstrate the efficacy of using a dietary supplement specifically to prevent or to treat COVID-19,”
Additionally, they have also asked medical stores to deny the sale and marketing of any products that claim to prevent or cure COVID-19 or any related symptoms.
In case a person spots any such product in any medical store, the complaint should immediately be made to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA has also reportedly sent warning letters to various companies that are selling products for treatment or prevention of the coronavirus infection.
In a statement from last week, the agency also warned people to not buy the products as some of them may contain harmful substances including chlorine dioxide or what is commonly known as bleach.
However, a popular question raised by many is what encourages people to buy products in the first place regardless of the multiple cautions by almost all major health authorities and agencies.
The professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, Dr. Philip Muskin, states that fear plays a fundamental role in making decisions that are likely to have negative consequences.
The anxiety from the coronavirus pandemic has people all over the world worrying about catching the infection and keeping themselves or their families safe. As a result, they buy products that provide immediate relief and a solution.
While it is hard to manage stress levels and anxiety due to COVID-19, health experts emphasize only following guidelines from official health authorities such as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.
Making compulsive decisions and buying illegal products that make bogus claims can have the exact opposite effect and damage the health instead of improving it.