Question & Answer

Does drinking water every 15 minutes reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)?

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  • The major transmission route for COVID-19 is via droplets generated when a person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on, or be inhaled by others in close proximity – this is why adhering to advice on physical distancing is so important.  Droplets can also land on surfaces and this explains why hand washing is another important way to reduce your chances of catching this virus.
  • In mid-March 2020, claims were circulated on social media and messaging platforms stating that drinking water every 15 minutes would protect against COVID-19. They claimed that if the virus had gotten into the throat, drinking water would wash the virus into the stomach where it would be killed by stomach acid.
  • No data exist to support the claim that drinking water will reduce infection of COVID-19 by transporting the virus to the stomach.
  • The World Health Organization have stated that “While staying hydrated by drinking water is important for overall health, it does not prevent coronavirus infection”
  • The best way to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 is to practice physical distancing and to wash your hands properly and often.

Things to Remember


  • Lead Researcher: Dr Eimear Morrissey, School of Psychology, NUI Galway
  • Reviewed by: Prof Declan Devane, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland.
  • Evidence Advisor: Dr Maureen Kelly, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway.
  • Evidence Advisor: Anne Daly, PPI Ignite, NUI Galway.
  • Evidence Advisor: Dr Claire O’Connell, Journalist, Contributor, The Irish Times.