Looking to protect yourself from coronavirus over the winter before a vaccine is available? Some everyday household items could help you do it.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine claim that certain mouthwashes and baby shampoos could have the ability to inactivate the coronavirus.
Professor Craig Meyers, who led the new study, 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."
In the study, the researchers tested several everyday products against a similar alternative for SARS-CoV-2, including a 1% solution of baby shampoo, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers and mouthwashes, the Mirror reports.
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Each product was allowed to interact with the virus for 30 seconds, one minute and two minutes, before being diluting to prevent further virus inactivation.
The results showed that the 1% baby shampoo solution, which is often used to rinse sinuses, inactivated more than 99.9% of the virus after two minutes.
Meanwhile, several of the mouthwash and gargle products were shown to inactivate more than 99.9% 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.
"Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50%, it would have a major impact."
While the findings are encouraging, using mouthwashes or baby shampoo isn't currently listed as a preventative measure by the NHS.
Here's the official advice to reduce the spread of Covid-19:
- try to stay at least 2 metres (3 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 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
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