Skip to Content


FIU experts answer questions we all have about the coronavirus.

March 20, 2020 at 12:00pm

Members of the FIU community are asking smart questions about the coronavirus every day. So each week, FIU News will tackle some of the questions and get you the answers.

FIU Medical experts answer the first batch this week.

Do zinc lozenges protect against coronavirus?
There are reports that zinc has some antiviral properties, but we don’t know for sure. Unless your zinc levels are low, there’s no need for supplements, and too much zinc could be bad for you.

Can garlic prevent COVID19?
This is a popular subject on social media, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says that while garlic "may have some antimicrobial properties", there's no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus. From vampires? Maybe.

Is drinkable silver a silver bullet against coronavirus?
Silver may kill werewolves, but it can be dangerous to your health. The National Institutes of Health warns that colloidal silver, a liquid that contains silver particles can cause kidney damage, seizures and argyria – an irriversible condition that makes skin turn bluish-gray. Televangelist Jim Bakker is now facing a lawsuit for selling a silver solution to treat COVID19.

Can I take ibuprofen if I have coronavirus?
There’s a lot of talk online that taking ibuprofen (popular brands include Advil and Motrin) can make coronavirus worse. Researchers are looking into this. In the meantime, the WHO recommends you take acetaminophen for fever or minor aches and pain unless your doctor advises otherwise. Tylenol is a brand of acetaminophen.

Can antibiotics help treat COVID19?
Antibiotics are useful against bacteria, but not viruses, and as the name implies, the new coronavirus, is a virus.