VERIFY: Antibiotic Cream for Flu Protection?

GREENSBORO, NC - We'll do just about anything to keep from getting sick. Social media can be a great place to swap ideas and DIY remedies. 

Amanda asked 2 Wants to Know to verify a post she saw on Facebook. The post reads, "Tip for flu season. For about $3 you can get this ointment to aid in preventing contracting the flu virus." The post, which contains a picture of a triple antibiotic cream continues, "It is recommended to use the q-tip and apply a thin layer inside each nostril daily."

The post claims antibiotic ointments and creams, like Neosporin, creates a barrier in your nose, preventing germs from entering your body. My co-worker, Tanya Rivera says she's even heard some people claim using Vaseline or petroleum jelly achieves the same goal. 

So, we asked the expert, Dr. Chris Ohl, professor of Infectious Diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Ohl said the answer to both is...no. 

Dr. Ohl calls both "old wives' tales" and says both claims have "no validity to them at all."

And, it's important to note, these ointments are topical, which means they go on the skin and shouldn't be ingested. 

Furthermore, a Harvard medical researcher told Glamour magazine, "you're not closing down the airflow to your nose with this stuff." The article reads, "the ointment might catch a stray germ or two" but as long as air can enter your nostrils, germs can still get in. 

So, sorry folks. This one is false. 

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