I know it feels like years since the coronavirus hit our shores. But the truth is, we haven’t even reached the one-year anniversary yet.
That’s not a lot of time to learn about a brand new, never before seen disease. Which means there’s still so much we need to figure out about COVID-19. That includes what we can do to reduce our risk of getting and spreading the virus.
The trouble is, like with all viruses, you can have the novel new coronavirus and be capable of spreading it before you ever feel unwell. Plus, in the case of COVID-19, you can also be infected but never develop symptoms.
We know that simple measures like masks, hand washing, and social distancing can help cut down on spreading the infection. But now scientists say there may be one more tool we can add to our arsenal.
Research has revealed another simple step you can take every day that could potentially help slow the coronavirus spread.
More research is needed before we can say for sure that it works. But it’s cheap. It takes just a minute to do. And all signs point to its potential to help in the battle against the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
THIS dental tool might slow coronavirus spread
Are you ready for this?
You likely already have a bottle of it in your bathroom. It’s mouthwash.
New lab tests from Penn State find that some of today’s most common oral rinses can absolutely destroy a human coronavirus that’s closely related to the SARS-CoV-2 bug behind the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Listerine Antiseptic, for example, inactivated 99 percent of the coronavirus in just 30 seconds. Plus, they got similar results from Listerine Ultra, Crest Pro Health, Equate Antiseptic (Walmart), and CVS Antiseptic Mouthwash. It’s likely other major mouthwash brands with the same active ingredients would work as well.
A 5 percent betadine rinse inactivated at least 99 percent of the virus too. And several other rinses, while not quite as good, did an excellent job. Peroxide Sore Mouth, Orajel Antiseptic Rinse, and 1.5 percent hydrogen peroxide inactivated more than 90 percent of the virus after just 30 seconds of contact.
Make mouthwash part of your pandemic routine
The researchers behind the study say 30 seconds of mouthwash exposure wasn’t ALWAYS enough in every test. But one to two minutes of exposure to the rinse did the trick in most cases.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind.
- This was a lab
- It was on a related
Plus, don’t forget the conditions were designed to mimic the conditions in the nasopharynx. That’s the back of your throat, where the virus lurks and replicates after you’ve been exposed. But they weren’t the REAL deal.
In other words, while these results are exciting, we do still need human clinical trials. Before then, we can’t say for sure mouthwash works the same way out in the real world and with the current coronavirus.
And keep in mind that while inactivating 99 percent of viral particles is fantastic, it’s NOT 100 percent. If there’s any virus left behind, it can still replicate. Plus, it could have already migrated to the lungs.
In other words, mouthwash isn’t a coronavirus miracle. But it could be a useful new tool in the fight against its spread. And what could be simpler than gargling with a little mouthwash?
If mouthwash is already part of your routine, great. If not, you might want to consider adding it twice a day for now. And you might want to add in a rinse whenever you come home from a store or any other errand where there’s been a risk of exposure.
And naturally, this doesn’t replace any other form of testing or treatment. If you think you might have been exposed or start to have any symptoms call your doctor right away.
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