There is currently no clinical evidence to show that mouthwash would be successful. TNS
Some scientists believe mouthwash has the potential to protect against coronavirus and have called for urgent research to be conducted to know if it could be effective in reducing the spread of coronavirus.
The call comes after a team of researchers from Cardiff University led a study to assess the importance of the throat and saliva glands in the replication of Covid-19.
The team stated that their research demonstrated that mouthwash has the potential to destroy the outermost layer or ‘envelope’ of the virus, preventing it from replicating in the mouth and throat in the early stages of an infection.
But, just how seriously should we be taking this claim? Here is everything you need to know.
Does mouthwash kill coronavirus?
Although the scientists are calling for urgent research to test the effectiveness of mouthwash in trials, there is currently no clinical evidence to show that it would be successful.
In February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) responded to claims that gargling mouthwash could protect you from infection, stating: “There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus
“Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth
“However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection.”
Why do scientists claim mouthwash might be effective?
The researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, along with academics at the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge’s Babraham Institute, claim that mouthwash may be able to damage the coronavirus membrane and reduce infection rates.
Professor Valerie O’Donnell, lead author of the study, said that in test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes were shown to contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses.
However, the authors stressed that it is not yet known whether this would be the case for the coronavirus and concluded that people should continue to follow government health guidance.
“Our review of the literature suggests that research is needed as a matter of urgency to determine its potential for use against this new virus,” O’Donnell explained.
“This is an under-researched area of major clinical need — and we hope that research projects will be quickly mobilised to further evaluate this.”
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