Claim: Chiropractors have advised patients to consume zinc and tonic water to fight against Coronavirus infection
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What is the rumour about?
- A St Louis based chiropractor, Eric Nepute’s Facebook video became viral after gaining 21 million views in a day. He shared a Facebook post where he recommended people to drink tonic water and zinc to fight against the Coronavirus infection.
- Eric Nepute runs Nepute Wellness Centre in St. Loius and his Facebook post gained a massive viewership hours after it was posted.
- His main focus was on quinine, an old anti-malarial drug which was used before hydroxychloroquine came into existence. He said that quinine in tonic water is what will help treat the Coronavirus.
- In the original video, Eric Nepute recommended people to have 3 to 4 ounces of Schweppes tonic water and 50 to 100 mg of zinc daily as a preventative measure.
Image courtesy: YouTube
Even tweets like these directed the viewers to Eric Nepute's video in the name of some other doctor named Frank Hahnel.
Image courtesy: Twitter
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After an analysis of the Google Trends with respect to Eric Nepute's advice on Coronavirus supplements, one can see that people have been hugely interested to know about the same. The maximum number of searches have been done on April 13 when the video first came out.
Image courtesy: Google Trends
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Republic World did a fact check
- Republic World did a fact check on the Eric Nepute's Coronavirus supplements rumour and found the claims made by the chiropractor to be false as neither the FDA nor any other doctor has reported about any such supplements which could possibly prevent Coronavirus as of now.
- Even Facebook's third-party fact-checkers had placed a warning on Eric Nepute's video indicating that it may contain partly false information. Later, it was taken down.
- The main reason for confusion stemmed from the fact that Eric Nepute was advising people to consume tonic water which contains an element (quinine) which was widely used as an anti-malaria drug long ago. Currently, tests are being done on hydroxychloroquine, which is also an anti-malaria drug.
- But the main point to note here is that no researches are actually been done on tonic water or quinine, and not even the structural formula of quinine and hydroxychloroquine are similar.
Image courtesy: Facebook
- However, when he was contacted by various media and medical authorities, he mentioned that he never claimed that these measures are a cure for Coronavirus. He clarified in his next Facebook video that he recommended tonic water and zinc to alleviate the symptoms of the Coronavirus, and did not proclaim the mixture to be a cure.
- Many doctors also suggested not to listen to any hoaxes without a proper background check. They said that an overdose on quinine and zinc could be harmful to the body.
- Even the chiropractors association body i.e. the American Chiropractic Association also urged their practitioners to forbid the use of social media for medical recommendations.
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- According to reports, when another chiropractor named Dr Fred Buckhold was contacted, he stated that drinking tonic water would surely cause no harm to the body; however, social distancing is the best way to safeguard oneself from the infection.
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