Dr Miriam Stoppard: Hands, face, space and gargle could be next in Covid fight

Dr Miriam Stoppard: Hands, face, space and gargle could be next in Covid fight

 

It’s hardly believable that mouthwash kills coronavirus in a few seconds – in the mouth, that is. Let’s be clear on that in case Donald Trump ­proposes we inject it!

But it’s not just any mouthwash, only those containing cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC 0.07%) perform.

These astonishing findings come from Cardiff University scientists who claim there were “promising signs” over-the-counter mouthwashes may help destroy the virus. As a result, a clinical trial on patients at the University Hospital of Wales has been set up.

I should clarify that it’s not a ­treatment for Covid as it doesn’t reach the ­respiratory tract or the lungs.

But the good news is mouthwash may help kill the virus in saliva and could become part of oral hygiene in the fight against Covid.

“If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University’s clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes could become an important addition to people’s routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future,” said Dr Nick Claydon, a specialist ­periodontist.

Dr Richard Stanton, lead author on the trial, said: “This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly-available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 ­coronavirus (and other related ­coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube.

“This study is not yet peer reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinised by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal.

“People should continue to follow the preventive measures, including washing hands frequently and ­maintaining social distance.”

Results from the trial are expected early next year and will look at whether it helps reduce levels of the virus in the saliva of Covid patients hospitalised in Cardiff.

The university’s Professor David Thomas said initial results were encouraging but the trial wouldn’t provide evidence of how to prevent transmission between patients.

“Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study,” he said.

“The study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of mouthwash in patients with Covid-19.

“We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients.”

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