A MUM and her kids drank urine for four days after reading claims it was a cure for Covid.
The family were sent dangerous fake remedy messages on WhatsApp, according to a health watchdog.
A mum and her kids drank urine for four days after being sent messages claiming it could cure CovidCredit: Getty – Contributor
The woman, who has not been named, said friends and relatives forwarded other people’s recommendations.
She told investigators from Healthwatch Central West London some of the videos she received discussed “drinking your own urine each morning as a cure for Covid-19”.
And she said that she and her children “did that for four days”.
Messages from friends are her “primary source of information on Covid-19”, she added.
The mother also explained that she believes “vaccinations would be dangerous for her family” and she “trusts traditional cures instead”.
Olivia Clymer, CEO of Healthwatch Central West London and co-author of the report on people’s experience during the pandemic, said: “We were told of a stigma associated with contracting coronavirus, and also of the fake remedies and conspiracies shared via WhatsApp.
“This, coupled with a lack of trust in ‘official’ channels of information, presents a problem that needs highlighting and addressing.”
Fake remedies and conspiracies are circulating on WhatsAppCredit: Alamy
Healthwatch teamed up with French African Welfare Association (FAWA), LEGS and Breath Easy Westminster, to talk to more than 100 people about their experience of life during the pandemic, with an additional focus on Black and minority ethnic communities.
FAWA highlighted the “prevalence of alternative information shared via WhatsApp”.
Ms Clymer added: “This information often suggests false, alternative treatments which have no scientific and empirical background.”
The report is due to be discussed by Westminster City Council’s adult and public health scrutiny committee in a bid to stamp out the sharing of misinformation.
Last week, British doctors warned people not to copy a fake Covid prevention method of inhaling steam.
A video circulating online and on WhatsApp claims it can “save us all” from coronavirus infection.
Other versions of the rumour sent via chain message claim that inhaling steam through the mouth and nose kills the virus while it is still in the sinuses before it “reaches your lungs”.
The Royal College of Physicians has urged against practicing steam inhalation, which it says could cause harm.
President Prof Andrew Goddard told the BBC: “At the moment the only thing we know that works for members of the public to prevent Covid is vaccination.
“I would urge anyone who sees this video to ignore it, there is no evidence that steam inhalation works, and there is good evidence it will do you harm.”
In a bid to prevent harmful misinformation deterring people from receiving the vaccine, Facebook has expanded the list of banned false claims related to the virus.