HERSHEY, Pa. — As the world waits for a vaccine to COVID-19, a new study finds there may be a way to slow the spread sitting in your medicine cabinet. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine say nasal and oral rinses like mouthwash can deactivate human coronaviruses. Their study concludes these common, over-the-counter products should have the same effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.
The group tested various products including one-percent baby shampoo, a neti pot, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwash, seeing how each would lower the viral load of coronavirus strains in a patient's mouth. Their findings reveal most of these products effectively shut down virus particles in less than two minutes. Researchers hope they may also lower the chances of COVID infection among people carrying the virus.
"While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed," says Craig Meyers, distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology, obstetrics, and gynecology in a university release. "The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people's daily routines."
Both mouthwash and baby shampoo render 99.9% of coronaviruses inactive
Meyers and his team replicated the reaction between virus cells in mouths and noses when they encounter rinses and mouthwashes. Health officials say these are the two major points where coronavirus enters and exits the body, which explains the emphasis on face mask protection.