In these turbulent and uncertain times, stories quickly circulate about the COVID-19 virus, whether they are true or not. This also applies to its relation with alcohol consumption. The WHO has released a report1 that debunks a couple of myths.
Myth: Consuming alcohol destroys the virus that causes COVID-19
Alcohol (with a minimum concentration of 60%) acts as a disinfecting agent on the skin, such as the hands. But drinking alcohol does not kill the virus in the body. So, do not drink alcohol thinking that it will kill the virus.

Myth: Drinking strong alcohol kills the virus in the inhaled air
The consumption of alcohol does not kill the virus through the inhaled air. It will not disinfect the mouth and throat and does not protect against COVID-19 this way.

Myth: Alcohol stimulates immunity and resistance to the virus
The WHO writes in its report that alcohol consumption has a deleterious effect on the immune system and that it will not stimulate immunity and virus resistance. The adverse effects of alcohol on the immune system seem to be especially true with excessive alcohol consumption.2 So be careful not to drink too much.

Responsible alcohol consumption
Especially during these times, it is important to keep yourself to the National Drinking Guidelines. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if you need help doing so.

1. World Health Organisation (2020) Alcohol and COVID-19: what you need to know.
2. Barr, T., Helms, C., Grant, K., & Messaoudi, I. (2016). Opposing effects of alcohol on the immune system. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 65, 242-251.

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