Advertisement

No, aiming a hair dryer up your nose will not ‘kill’ coronavirus

Click to play video 'Florida county commissioner falsely claims aiming hair dryer up nose ‘kills’ COVID-19' Florida county commissioner falsely claims aiming hair dryer up nose ‘kills’ COVID-19
WATCH: During a March 20 meeting, Okeechobee commissioner Bryant Culpepper claimed blowing heat and steam into one’s nose can kill off the novel coronavirus – Mar 24, 2020

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, one Florida commissioner has offered up an interesting “cure.”

Local governments around the world are telling the public to look to health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for tips on how to stay safe.

READ MORE: IN PHOTOS — Tourist sites worldwide left eerily deserted amid coronavirus outbreak

Instead of recommending the same, Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper cited a suggestion he said he saw on One American News Network, saying that blowing a hair dryer up the nose could “kill” the coronavirus.

Speaking at a March 20 commissioners meeting, he started off by saying the nasal passages and nasal membranes are the “coolest part of the body,” which attracts the virus.

Story continues below advertisement

“This sounds really goofy, and it did to me too, but it works. Once the temperature reaches 136 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus falls apart, it disintegrates.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus:  How hospitals are preparing for COVID-19 surge' Coronavirus: How hospitals are preparing for COVID-19 surge
Coronavirus: How hospitals are preparing for COVID-19 surge – Mar 23, 2020

“I said, ‘How would you get the temperature up to 136 degrees?’ The answer was you use a blow dryer,” he said. “You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale through your nose and it kills all the viruses in your nose.”

He acknowledged that it sounds “simplified,” adding that there’s another method that involves a stove and a pan of water.

“Also, if you are worried about it going into your lungs, because that’s where it goes to turn into pneumonia, you can put a pan of water on the stove until it turns into steam and inhale it,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Priest, 72, dies after giving up ventilator to younger coronavirus patient in Italy

“It sounds too easy, but at this point, it’s worth trying.”

Health officials were quick to pipe in, saying not only will this method not work, but it will also irritate your skin, eyes, nose and mouth.

The WHO has said that dryers cannot kill the new coronavirus and that the virus can still be transmitted in hot and humid climates, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Click to play video 'How to tell if you should get tested for COVID-19' How to tell if you should get tested for COVID-19
How to tell if you should get tested for COVID-19 – Mar 24, 2020

Dr. Jen Caudle, a family physician and associate professor at Rowan University in New Jersey, also confirmed that blowing hot air into a nose will not prevent or cure COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

“Depending on how hot the blow dryer gets, I would be concerned with some adverse effects,” she told AP.

Dr. Faheem Younus, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, tweeted Tuesday to knock down the commissioner’s false claim.

“False! Please don’t. Our nose carries bacteria, as part of normal flora. Those bacteria may get confused.”

Click to play video 'The Travel Lady: tips for dealing with travel industry chaos' The Travel Lady: tips for dealing with travel industry chaos
The Travel Lady: tips for dealing with travel industry chaos – Mar 24, 2020

Many doctors, like Younus and Caudle, are using their expertise to debunk claims like this one on their personal channels.

—With files from the Associated Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Story continues below advertisement

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

Advertisement