Mouthwash may reduce spread of the new coronavirus


A recent scientific review specu
lates that mouthwash could in
hibit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. A new research review suggests that publicly available mouthwashes could, in theory, inhibit SARS-CoV-2. The team behind the review call for further research to be done to confirm their speculative findings. If clinical trials prove effective, the findings, published in the journal Function, may provide another way to reduce the spread of the disease until scientists can produce an effective, publicly available vaccine.
Since the sudden emergence and rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, scientists and researchers have focussed on the development of a vaccine that could help protect people vulnerable to COVID-19. However, scientists have estimated that an effective, publicly available vaccine could take at least 12–18 months to develop. In the meantime, some scientists are focusing on ways to reduce the rate of infection to controllable levels that will not overwhelm hospital intensive care units.
Other scientists have investigated the development of effective treatments that may reduce the transmission rate of the virus. One area of research involves disrupting the way the virus can take over a cell of a host as it replicates itself. SARS-CoV-2, like other coronaviruses, is an enveloped virus. This means that it creates an outer membrane by drawing on the cells of a host organism. This membrane allows the virus to replicate effectively. If scientists can disrupt this envelope, then this might slow down the spread of the virus within an organism. Using soap and water or disinfectant can disrupt a viral envelope and kill the virus. Research has shown that disinfectants can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This is why health authorities and organizations encourage people to wash their hands and surfaces with soap or alcohol-based products regularly. The present review proposes that some publicly available mouthwashes may be able to help fulfill this role. Scientists have shown that the virus replicates significantly in the throat. This may mean that a patient with COVID-19 is likely to have the highest concentration of the virus in this area. With high levels of the virus in the throat, it is easy for a person to transmit it through breathing, coughing, and sneezing. Previous research into alcohol’s ability to disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 envelope has focused on products with a high alcohol content of between 60% and 70%.
This is because manufacturers typically design alcohol-based products to be effective in a variety of circumstances, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.