Wearing a mask, regularly washing your hands and keeping a safe distance are three ways the government is advising people to protect themselves from coronavirus. But researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have now claimed certain mouthwashes and baby shampoos have the ability to inactivate COVID-19.
Study lead Professor Craig Meyers said: “While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed. The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines.”
As part of the study, researchers tested several everyday protects, including a 1 percent solution of baby shampoo, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers and mouthwashes.
Each product was allowed to interact with the virus for 30 seconds, one minute and two minutes, before being diluted.
The results showed the 1 percent baby shampoo solution, which is often used to rinse sinuses, inactivated more than 99.9 percent of the virus after two minutes.
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Several of the mouthwash products were shown to inactivate more than 99.9 percent of the virus in just 30 seconds.
Professor Meyers said: “People who test positive for COVID-19 and return home to quarantine may possibly transmit the virus to those they live with.
“Certain professions including dentists and other health care workers are at a constant risk of exposure.
“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.
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“Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50%, it would have a major impact.”
While the findings of the study were promising, baby shampoos and mouthwashes aren’t currently recommended by the NHS to protect against coronavirus.
The health body recommends:
Staying at least two metres (three steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 secondsUsing hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not availableWashing your hands as soon as you get home
Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands when you cough or sneeze and putting used tissues in the bin immediately and washing your hands afterwards are also recommended.
You should avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of COVID-19 listed by the NHS are:
A high temperatureA new, continuous cough A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Most people with the virus will experience one of these symptoms.
If you experience any of these you should:
1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test results – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, just also stay at home until you receive your result.