Published on : The Sun
19 May 2020, 16:41
Updated: 19 May 2020, 16:53
GARGLING salt water could kill off coronavirus, according to top doctors.
Virologists from Edinburgh University have found the simple treatment reduced the time patients with other forms of the virus tested positive.
Salt water could treat coronavirusCredit: Alamy
The group of medics have now called for urgent trials to see if it works for Covid-19.
In their study, published in the Journal of Global Health, Dr Sandeep Ramalingam wrote: “The intervention appeared likely to be effective in reducing symptoms and duration of the illness.
The consultant virologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh added: “It is unclear if hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling is also effective in Covid-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2; a trial is therefore urgently needed.”
In the study, 66 patients with nose and throat infections were involved at the Royal Infirmary and Western General hospitals in Edinburgh.
Doctors told 32 of the patients to flush their nostrils and gargle salt water up to 12 times a day, while the remaining 34 continued with routine treatment.
Nose swabs then found that the treatment reduced the duration of coronavirus upper respiratory tract infection by an average of two-and-a-half days.
Dr Ramalingam said: “As such, it may offer a potentially safe, effective and scalable intervention in those with Covid-19.”
It comes after experts last week said gargling mouthwash could kill coronavirus and slash the risk of infection.
Just 30 seconds of swirling has proven effective against similar viruses, a review found.
Ingredients in common mouthwashes damaged the bugs’ outer shell – making them harmless.
Now experts have called for urgent research into the potential benefits of using the rinse to combat Covid-19.
They hope to establish if popular brands can inactivate the virus in the throat, where it is thought to multiply.
Potentially useful ingredients include ethanol, povidone-iodine and cetylpyridinium.
The findings are published in the journal Function.
Hand washing and following the social distancing rules are still among the best ways to protect yourself from coronavirus, as well as staying healthy and using face coverings on public transport and in shops.