No, steaming every day for a week will not cure COVID-19

IMAGE: Namibia Fact Check / WhatsApp

A viral social media post falsely claims that steaming daily for a week is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

In another one of those ‘we-thought-this-would-have-been-dead-by-now’ episodes, we’re back to debunking steaming as a cure or treatment for COVID-19.

A post that has been viral on Facebook and in WhatsApp groups since about January 2021, and keeps circulating, encourages people to steam two or three times a day for a week in order to treat or cure themselves of COVID-19. 

Here’s how the post starts off:

Screenshot of a Facebook profile that shared the viral post over a hundred times since January 2021.

Here’s a section on steaming:

Screenshot of a section of the viral post forwarded many times in WhatsApp groups.

And here’s the complete text on steaming in the viral post:

“The hot water we drink does not reach there. 

After 4 to 5 days this virus that was hidden behind the  paranasal sinus reaches your lungs.

Then you have trouble breathing.

That’s why it is very important to take steam, 

which reaches the back of your paranasal sinus.

You have to kill this virus in the nose with steam.

At 50°C, this virus becomes disabled i.e. paralyzed. 

At 60°C this virus  becomes so weak that any human immunity system can fight against it.

At 70°C this virus dies completely.

This is what steam does. 

The entire public health department knows this.

But everyone wants to take advantage of this pandemic. 

So they don’t share this information openly.

One who stays at home should take steam once a day. 

If you go to the market to buy vegetables, take it twice a day.

Anyone who meets some people or goes to office should take steam 3 times a day.                      

 Steam week 

According to doctors, Covid -19 can be killed by inhaling steam from the nose and mouth, eliminating the Coronavirus.  

If all the people started a steam drive campaign for a week, 

The pandemic will end

So here is a suggestion: 

* Start the process for a week 

morning and evening, for just 5 minutes each time, to inhale steam.  

If all adopt this practice for a week the deadly Covid-19 will be erased.

This practice has no side effects either.

So please send this message to all your relatives, friends and neighbours, so that we all can kill this coronavirus together and live and walk freely in this beautiful world.

          Thank you”

So, what do the experts say?

Well, the World Health Organization (WHO) is very clear on this since early 2020:

Screenshot of a World Health Organization social media poster from 2020.

Screenshot of a World Health Organization social media poster from 2020.

The Viral Facts Africa initiative (of the World Health Organization (WHO) and various African fact checkers) has debunked the steam inhalation claim across various social media platforms.

Screenshot of a Viral Facts Africa Facebook video debunking the steaming claim.

And here are some more expert fact checks of the steaming claim from British fact checker Full Fact and Indian fact checker The Quint.

So, just so we’re clear, steam inhalation or steaming, however much it is done per week, is not a proven, effective treatment or cure for COVID-19.


The statements, information and/or data referenced in this article have been assessed and found to be false.

26th May 2021

Frederico Links

Frederico Links is the editor and lead researcher of Namibia Fact Check and a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)