Faced with thousands of deaths, researchers have embarked on a race against time to find an effective treatment or a vaccine.
But at the same time, the craziest rumors continue to spread across the internet and social media, fueling confusion.
In Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, more than 210 people have died from methanol poisoning after rumors that drinking alcohol could help cure or protect from Covid-19, according to the official Irna agency.
And the list of false remedies that can be dangerous is long, according to a list compiled by AFP.
Volcanic ash, UV lamps or bleach are all false recommendations that can even be harmful to the body, have warned health authorities.
Some social media posts advise drinking a solution of colloidal silver (containing silver in the form of nanoparticles) to “kill the coronavirus”.
“I currently make colloidal silver. I have asthma and does it really work … (…) Does it help if I take a teaspoon per day “, asks Michelle, on a Facebook group.
The side effects of this solution can lead to discoloration of the skin, which takes on a gray-blue tint, and poor absorption of certain drugs, including antibiotics, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
These warnings are not, however, dissuasive. Thus, an Australian explained to AFP to regularly buy this product, but that now “there is no longer in my city … before the virus, we could always find it”.
Taking cocaine or drinking bleach are some of the bad advice that is also circulating on the internet.
“No, cocaine does not protect against Covid-19”, was even forced to warn the French Ministry of Health in a Tweet.
The rapid spread of information about scientific theories that have not yet been proven can also lead anxious patients to take unnecessary risks.
Letters and theoretical articles in scientific journals have confused people with heart disease,
These publications mentioned the fact that heart medications could increase the chances of developing a severe form of Covid-19.
This led European and American health authorities to recommend that these patients continue their treatment.
Carolyn Thomas, who maintains a blog for women with heart disease, says dozens of her readers have contacted her following tweets warning of drugs used in cardiology.
“Until I see my cardiologist, I continue my treatment, even if I wonder if they do not make me more vulnerable to the virus,” Thomas told AFP, in self-containment in Canada.
“I’m afraid to take them, but also to stop them,” she admitted.
Professor Garry Jennings, chief medical adviser to the Australian Heart Foundation said these articles “are based on a number of factors which are all controversial”. He warns patients who interrupt their treatment, reminding them that they are at risk of a heart attack or of death.
“In the absence of any evidence and knowing that these drugs are beneficial, it is not a good idea to stop,” he said.
In the United States, a man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, one of the debated treatments tested.
This Arizona resident, who had heard US President Donald Trump talk about it as being “a gift from heaven”, swallowed too much of an aquarium care product that was fatal.
“I saw it on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that what they’re talking about on TV?'”, His wife told NBC News.