What’s going on?
A recent study from the Journal of Medical Virology said a few oral antiseptics — like baby shampoos or mouthwashes — that “may have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses” when people are talking, sneezing or coughing.
- “The researchers found that several of the nasal and oral rinses had a strong ability to neutralize human coronavirus, which suggests that these products may have the potential to reduce the amount of virus spread by people who are COVID-19-positive,” Penn State said in a press release (via Science Daily).
- 1% baby shampoo solution — often used to rinse out sinuses — reduced more than 99.9% of human coronavirus after two minutes of contact time.
- Many “mouthwash and gargle products” could inactive greater than 99.9% of coronaviruses after 30 seconds of contact. Some inactivated that amount after 30 seconds, too.
The big picture:
Researchers said oral mouthwashes could help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Craig Meyers, distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology and obstetrics and gynecology, led the researchers for the study.
They have been reviewing different ways to lower transmission of coronavirus and aerosolized respiratory droplets for years, according to CNBC.
- “I was in the drugstore and I just saw the bottle of Listerine, and it said ‘kill germs that cause bad breath.’ And I thought, ‘What the heck?’ I bought it and we threw it into the studies and we were a little surprised on how well it worked” to kill viruses, he told CNBC.
Meyers said it’s important to discover any way to lower transmission of the coronavirus as we wait for therapeutics and vaccines.
- “While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed,” Meyers said. “The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines.”
The researchers said more studies need to be done to test how effective these antiseptics can be in killing the coronavirus.