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Can drinking alcohol prevent or cure COVID-19?

Can drinking alcohol prevent or cure COVID-19?

What Meedan’s experts say

No, drinking alcohol does not prevent or cure COVID-19. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are recommended to disinfect hands and surfaces, but drinking or ingesting alcohol is in no way recommended. In fact, alcohol consumption could worsen COVID-19 symptoms and could weaken your body’s ability to fight the virus, if you have lowered immunity. Excessive consumption of alcohol is a risk factor for many diseases, and alcohol should only be consumed in moderation, if at all.

Image source: NCDC

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that drinking alcohol will not protect against infection or illness from COVID-19. In fact, alcohol consumption can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight infection and increase the chance of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, alcohol consumption has other negative health consequences (ex. motor and cognitive impairments, mental health impacts, violence, pregnancy impacts, carcinogenic exposure, associations with several other diseases). In response to rising rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol being one of the most widely abused substances in the world, the WHO has advised that “people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Learn more from Meedan’s COVID-19 expert database:

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