FACT CHECK: Does Tonic Water And Zinc Kill COVID-19?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims drinking tonic water and zinc will “kill” COVID-19.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to support the claim that drinking tonic water and zinc can prevent or cure COVID-19.

Fact Check:

The internet is replete with supposed COVID-19 cures, many of which have been thoroughly debunked. One post recently shared on Facebook claims that drinking tonic water with the mineral zinc will “kill” the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“Quinine found in Tonic water along with 50-100mg of zinc daily will kill COVID-19,” reads the post. “Hydroxychloroquine is the synthetic version of Quinine. Drink some fresh squeezed lemon juice with your Tonic water. You’ll be GOLDEN!”

Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malaria drug that is currently undergoing clinical trials to test its safety and efficacy in treating COVID-19. Quinine, a synthetic relative of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, is also used to treat malaria, according to The Associated Press.

Tonic water contains “no more than 83 mg of quinine per liter – a much lower concentration than the 500 to 1,000 mg in the therapeutic dose of quinine tablets,” according to Harvard University. (RELATED: Did A Man Die ‘After Taking Malaria Medication Touted By Trump As Possible Cure For Coronavirus’?)

There is no scientific evidence that consuming tonic water and zinc can kill the new coronavirus, however. Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the World Health Organization (WHO) mention the tonic water and zinc mixture on their respective websites, and numerous fact-checkers have debunked the claim. The WHO notes that while some home remedies may alleviate COVID-19 symptoms, there is no evidence they can prevent or cure the disease.

Fever-Tree, a beverage company that makes tonic water, also debunked the notion that tonic water can combat COVID-19 on its website after receiving multiple inquiries, saying, “Anti-malaria drugs contain a significantly higher amount of quinine than tonic water so we would not advise using our tonic water for anything other than making a delicious drink to keep your spirits up during this difficult time.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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