As efforts to contain the coronavirus continue to ramp up across the country, rumors and false information also continue to spread. In an effort to separate the falsehoods and half-truths from the facts, we have started a new column True or False: Coronavirus to address some of the most pressing questions and concerns.

1.     Drinking alcohol can kill the coronavirus.

FALSE.   Though contact with alcohol-based cleaning wipes will kill COVID-19 on surfaces, consuming alcohol will not prevent the virus from spreading inside your respiratory system. What’s more, excessive alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off the virus.

2.     Using a blow dryer to shoot hot air into your sinuses will kill the new coronavirus.

FALSE.   Though videos demonstrating and promoting this practice are circulating on the Internet, there is no evidence that the hot air generated by a dryer will kill the coronavirus. What’s more, the mucus found in our noses traps dust and other particles we inhale as part of our body’s disease defense system. Drying your nose out too much could be harmful to your overall health.

3.     Bananas can help your body fight the coronavirus.

FALSE.    While bananas are loaded with healthy vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber, there is no evidence they provide any extra benefit in fighting COVID-19.

4.     The drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are a cure for the coronavirus.

FALSE.   This is dangerously false. Studies underway involving chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have not yet reached any conclusions and the FDA has not approved the drugs for use in treating COVID-19. If not taken in proper doses, these drugs can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Further, those stockpiling chloroquine are denying it to people who need it for the treatment of malaria, lupus and other diseases.

5.     The coronavirus can remain alive for days and possible weeks on some surfaces.

TRUE.    Wipe down surfaces! Numerous studies have found that this strain of coronavirus has an unusually long lifetime outside the body of a host. A recent joint federal study by the NIH, CDC and others found the virus can live for days on hard surfaces such as metal, cardboard, and plastics. It can also survive in the air for up to three hours.  Health experts say you should wipe down any surface that might have come into contact with the coronavirus and wash your hands right after touching an unknown surface.