Experts bust myth claiming you can hold your breath to test for coronavirus

5 Coronavirus Myths Debunked The World Health Organization has called the spread of coronavirus misinformation an "infodemic." Myth 1: Coronavirus is manmade. Just like SARS, the virus likely originated in bats and was transmitted to people. Myth 2: Home remedies can cure or prevent the virus. Garlic, vitamin C and essential oils will not prevent or cure the virus, as there is currently no vaccine. Myth 3: Black people don't get coronavirus. Anyone can get coronavirus, and it is spreading in Africa. Myt

An image has circulated on social media claiming that you can conduct a breath test on yourself to see if you have the coronavirus.

But according to experts, this is not a credible method of knowing whether you have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

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The Associated Press reported a claim seen on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, to name a few, alleges that if you  take a deep breath and are able to hold it for more than 10 seconds, you have no infection. The claim says that doing this successfully — that is, without tightness, stuffiness or any discomfort — proves no fibrosis is present in the lungs, thus indicating there's no infection.

“By the time he has a fever and/or a cough and goes to the lung hospital, the patient may have 50% fibrosis, and then it’s too late! Taiwanese experts provide simple self-monitoring that we can do every morning: Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds,” the post reads in part. “If you can do this successfully without coughing and without difficulty, without anxiety or chest tightness, it shows that you do not have fibrosis and generally indicate no infection.”

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The claim falsely attributed the information to people and entities such as Taiwanese experts and Stanford University, which Stanford Health Care and school of medicine spokeswoman Lisa Kim told the AP in an email did not come from the university.

“This approach may be helpful in identifying persons with more serious lung disease,”Dr. Robert Legare Atmar, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine told the AP. “But it will not identify persons who are infected and have mild to no symptoms.”

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Another expert, Richard Watanabe, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, told PolitiFact in an email that it's "not true."

“This has been circulating widely, but sadly is not true,” he said. “The only way to test for COVID-19 right now is via laboratory testing.”