Medical groups: Steam inhalation does not kill SARS-CoV-2
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Groups of medical professionals in Cebu debunked reports that steam inhalation, or tuob in Cebuano, can kill the highly infectious virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We stand by up-to-date medical evidence that steam inhalation has not been demonstrated to kill viruses, specifically the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19,” reads a portion of their joint statement issued on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
A total of 13 Cebu-based medical-oriented organizations made the statement and was released following the debate online as to whether tuob is a cure and prevention for COVID-19.
Although acknowledging that the practice of steam inhalation has been “cited in scientific journals to provide relief of respiratory symptoms that are experienced in COVID-19 such as nasal congestion and dry cough,” doctors cautioned its use.
“Because steam inhalation does not kill the virus and may cause potential harm, we cannot, in good conscience, endorse its use as a preventive or curative measure,” they said.
“Should you decide to proceed with tuob, we strongly advise you to be careful and mindful of the first stages of burn injuries. We also appeal to members of the public doing ‘tuob’ that if symptoms persist or worsen, to seek medical consult immediately,” they added.
Physicians, likewise, reiterated that health protocols such as wearing of face masks, handwashing, and physical distancing, should be practiced considering that these are measures proven effective in containing the spread of the virus.
“While we understand this initiative (tuob), we emphasize that this is just part of other supportive measures that one may opt to do to relieve one’s symptoms,” the statement said.
Social media in the past few days have been abuzz on the issue about tuob.
It escalated when Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia called out in one of her live press conferences two doctors who criticized the provincial government’s decision to issue a memorandum ‘encouraging’ all its employees to do tuob.
The Department of Health (DOH) is closely monitoring the entire island of Cebu due to the rising COVID-19 cases, and named Cebu City and Cebu province as one of the emerging COVID-19 hotspots in the country. /bmjo
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