Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of catching COVID-19 and make the symptoms worse if you get infected with the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
According to CNBC, the WHO made the announcement Tuesday, recommending government leaders worldwide limit alcohol access during coronavirus lockdowns.
“Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” the WHO’s regional office for Europe said on its site late Tuesday.
The WHO also published a guidance dispelling the “dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill” the coronavirus.
“It does not,” the WHO said. ““Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The WHO added that it could result in serious health issues, including death. About 3 million deaths a year are attributable to alcohol without a pandemic driving up consumption. However, Americans are imbibing more at home now that bars and restaurants are closed. According to the financial services company Rabobank, the bar and restaurant market stands lose $15 billion in alcohol sales over the next two months.
Additionally, alcohol sales at U.S. liquor and grocery stores were up 22% for the week ending March 28 compared with the same time last year. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus offered healthier advice, including eating healthy and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day for adults and an hour for kids.
“It’s normal to feel stressed, confused, and scared during a crisis. Talking to people you know and trust can help,” Tedros said. “And try not to read or watch too much news if it makes you anxious. Get your information from reliable sources once or twice a day.”
The coronavirus outbreak has sent the world indoors. Researchers believe it will stay that way for some time. The virus has significantly impacted Americans as more than 16 million people have lost their job.