Coronavirus study finds certain mouthwashes may help curb COVID-19

Certain types of mouthwashes, as well as nasal and oral antiseptic rinses, have been found to potentially 'inactivate' human coronaviruses that have a structure similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus behind COVID-19. The research comes from Penn University where researchers evaluated multiple different oral and nasal rinses and mouthwashes, finding that some could inactivate 99.9-percent of human coronavirus in 30 seconds.

A vaccine will change the landscape regarding COVID-19, but we're still quite a few months from such a treatment, at best. In the meantime, preventative measures like wearing masks and regularly washing one's hands have helped curb the spread of the virus, reducing the number of people who contract it. Certain mouthwashes and antiseptic rinses may be a tool to add to the mix.

Doctors often use a 1-percent baby shampoo solution to rinse the sinuses; this was found to inactive more than 99.9-percent of the human coronavirus after two minutes. Meanwhile, 'several' different gargle rinses and mouthwashes were found to inactive more than 99.9-percent of the virus after 30 seconds.

The findings indicate that using these preventative measures may reduce the viral load found in one's mouth and nasal cavity, potentially reducing the amount of virus other people are exposed to — both the nose and mouth are major sources of transmission and entry for human coronaviruses, the researchers note.

Due to the similar structures, the study notes that these solutions may inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in around the same amount of time as the virus used in the study. A clinical study would be the next step to determining whether these solutions do, indeed, reduce viral load in COVID-19 patients specifically, however.