FACT CHECK: No, Eating Papaya Salad Cannot Prevent COVID-19 Infection

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims eating papaya salad can prevent infection from the new coronavirus.

“Spicy papaya salad is the food vaccine for covid-19,” the caption claims.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence eating papaya salad can prevent COVID-19 infection. A medical expert called the claim “bogus.”

Fact Check:

Social media platforms have become replete with supposed cures and treatments for COVID-19 since the new coronavirus that causes it first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

This particular Facebook post claims that papaya salad, a popular dish in Thailand also known as som tam, can act as a “food vaccine” for COVID-19. Dr. Pornthep Siriwanarangsan, the former director-general of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, magnified the claim on social media, according to AFP Fact Check.

“In papaya salad there is garlic and chili, which are mucolytics that will help protect you from COVID-19,” he said in one video. (RELATED: Can Burning Neem Leaves Prevention Coronavirus Infection?)

The Daily Caller didn’t find any scientific evidence that eating papaya salad can prevent COVID-19 infection, however. Neither the World Health Organization (WHO) nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended consuming the dish as a way to protect one’s self from contracting the novel respiratory disease that has killed some 252,000 people worldwide as of press time.

Dr. Thira Woratanarat, an associate professor in Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine in Thailand, also told AFP Fact Check that the claim was “bogus.”

The WHO’s website states that there is no evidence that traditional or home remedies can prevent or treat the new coronavirus.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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