Can Mouthwashes Fight the Spread of COVID-19?
While not directly testing against the COVID-19 virus, researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine looked at a number of products and their effectiveness against coronaviruses which are similar to COVID-19. Among the products in the study were antiseptic rinses and mouthwashes. The study attempted to see if the coronaviruses could be inactivated by these products in a laboratory setting.
From the results of their study, the researchers found some of the products showed promise in fighting coronaviruses, and suggest that using them may save to help reduce the amount of virus spread by those who are COVID-19 positive.
The researchers also looked at nasal products, as the oral and nasal cavities are both primary ways that that SARS-CoV-2 enters the body and is transmitted to others.
During the study, the researchers exposed a type of coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2 to the different solutions for time periods of half a minute, one minute, and two minutes. The mixture was then diluted and exposed to cultured human cells. Researchers then waited a few days before counting how many of the cells remained alive after being exposed to the viral solution.
Many of the mouthwashes tested inactivated more than 99.9% of the viruses after only 30 seconds.
Further studies are needed, of course, but the head of the study, Craig Meyers, MS, Ph.D., suggests these products may be helpful for those who have caught the virus and are attempting to quarantine themselves while living with others.
“People who test positive for COVID-19 and return home to quarantine may possibly transmit the virus to those they live with,” Meyers says. “Clinical trials are needed to determine if these products can reduce the amount of virus COVID-positive patients or those with high-risk occupations may spread while talking, coughing, or sneezing. Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50%, it would have a major impact.”
For those interested in learning more, the study was published in the Journal of Medical Virology.