Iran: Bootleg Alcohol kills 194 During COVID-19 Crisis
During the COVID-19 crisis in Iran bootleg alcohol has so far killed 194 people.
The sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Breaking the law can lead to imprisonment. Despite this at least 194 people have died and 1000 more poisoned since March 6th due to consuming bootleg alcohol. 17 have been arrested as part of the investigation.
Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences spokesman Ali Ehsanpour told the country’s official news agency IRNA that rumors on social media claiming alcohol could cure COVID-19 play a big role in the deaths.
As COVID-19 spreads around the world and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), misinformation, myths and rumours have contributed their share to the increasing burden.
Alcohol ingested by humans is harmful and weakens the immune system. Alcohol is a powerful disinfectant when applied to surfaces only.
Scientists have known for a long time that alcohol consumption is associated with negative health effects related to the immune system. Some of the connections that matter especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic are:
- Susceptibility to pneumonia,
- Greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), and
- Slower and less complete recovery from infections due to alcohol use.
Importantly, alcohol consumption does not have to be chronic to have negative health consequences for the immune system.
According to scientific evidence, the following advice matters for lifestyle choices that help strengthen the immune system defence:
- Quit smoking,
- Avoid alcohol use,
- Avoid stress, and
- Ensure and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including healthy food, exercise, proper sleep and social contact (possible even in times of social distancing).
For further reading:
Maik’s blog article on myths and facts about alcohol in relation to COVID-19