The Department of Health (DOH) has made it clear to the public that doing “tuob” or steam inhalation does nothing to combat COVID-19.
As a matter of fact, steam can actually be bad for the immune system.
“Ang steam inhalation o paglanghap ng steam na may asin, lemon, atbp. ay hindi nakakapatay ng COVID-19 virus at hin di kabilang sa pamamaraan upang maiwasan ang COVID-19. Maging ang CDC at WHO ay mariing pinabubulaanan na ang steam inhalation ay nakagagaling ng COVID-19. Wala pang siyentipikong pag-aaral sa ngayon ang nakakapagpatunay nito,” the DOH said in a statement on one of their Facebook pages.
“May posibilidad na mapasama ang virus sa singaw (aerosolization), na maaaring pagmulan ng pagkalat ng sakit. Ang steam inhalation ay nagpaparami ng secretions (likido) sa ilong na posibleng makahawa sa iba sa pamamagitan ng pagbahing o pag-ubo. Maaari rin itong magdulot ng aksidente gaya ng pagkasunog at pagkalapnos ng balat.” it added.
DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also clarified that the practice is not backed up by scientific evidence of curing COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
“Nais lamang po naming bigyan linaw na wala pong scientific evidence na nagpapatunay na ang steam inhalation or paglanghap ng steam na may asin, lemon at iba pang sangkap ay nakakapatay ng virus na nagiging sanhi ng sakit na COVID-19,” Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
The DOH’s warning came after Provincial Administrator Noli Vincent Valencia of Cebu City released a memorandum recommending workers from different departments to tuob at their work stations twice a day amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the city.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia advised her employees to do the traditional medicinal measure as well saying it would strengthen their immune system.
“Ang steam inhalation din po ay nagpaparami ng secretion sa ilong na posibleng makahawa ng sakit sa pamamagitan ng pagbabahing o pag-ubo ng indibidwal,” Vergeire added.
She also reminded the public to avoid resorting to self-medication.
Inhaling steam however increases the production of white blood cells which eases the overall health of an individual, according to hydrotherapy advocate Dr. Dale Pasco.
“When the virus enters the nose or mouth, we still have four to five days to fight it. This is where steam inhalation plays a very important role in this phase. Let us not wait for it to reach the lungs,” said Dr. Pasco.
DOH-7 regional director Dr. Jaime Bernadas on the other hand says inhaling steam is a traditional practice that does not have the capability of curing coronavirus.