Is Saline Solution Effective Against COVID-19?

A Facebook post suggests that drinking lots of water and gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar eliminates the coronavirus.

Is Saline Solution Effective Against COVID-19?

The claim has not been corroborated by any health institution. The WHO says there is currently no specific treatment, drug or vaccine for the Covid-19, although some home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms.

A viral Facebook post proffers yet another remedy for the new coronavirus, COVID-19. How? Simply drink lots of and gargle with warm water and salt or vinegar and you are good to go.

DUBAWA looked into these claims and found no evidence to back them.


According to the World Health Organisation, the incubation period for Covid-19, that is, the period between contracting the virus and exhibiting symptoms ranges between one and 14 days. Symptoms however commonly appear after around five days.

How does the virus work?

The virus works by getting inside and taking over the cells of the body.  It first infects the cells lining the throat, airways and lungs and turns them into “coronavirus factories”. The “coronavirus factories” then spew out huge numbers of new viruses that go to infect more cells.

Will gargling saline solution eliminate the virus?

This claim has not been corroborated by any health institution. 

Gargling may soothe a sore throat, a symptom of the new coronavirus. In fact, NHS recommends gargling with warm saline water for adults suffering from sore throats. However, there is no evidence that it kills the virus. The Covid-19, according to Chinese health workers, invades the respiratory tract and therefore cannot be cleaned gargling. 

Indeed, the WHO, in its Q&A about coronavirus on twitter debunked a similar question of whether gargling mouthwash can protect one from COVID-19. 

How about drinking lots of Water? Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is advised especially when one is unwell. However, it does not prevent coronavirus infection.

Cures for the Covid-19?

The Organisation says there is currently “no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019.” Clinical trials are however ongoing to find a solution to the disease.

It adds that “some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19.”

WHO’s standard recommendations to prevent infection spread of coronavirus 

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
  • Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
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