Covid-19 Prevention/Mitigation

  • #1

Summary:

Aside from social distancing and frequent hand washing, possible additional steps

Main Question or Discussion Point

The goal is to 'flatten the curve' in terms the spread of Covid-19/corona virus. Hence, what about recommending effective gargling (3 times or more daily) with an anti-septic like Cepacol or Listerine (alcohol version) and going to the source of the problem, which is the throat/oro-pharynx? The aforementioned are some of the anti-septic mouth and throat cleansers that are used in the US; there are likely many similar ones in other parts of the world.

This strategy, once employed, can interfere with the viral replication process which occurs during the incubation phase (2-14 days in this case).
There are precedents: HSV-1 infection has been shown to repressed/contravened with Listerine as has oral gonorrhea.

Saline gargling has been suggested and while that can be helpful, I believe a more effective mitigation/prevention strategy would be a more potent anti-septic as mentioned above. I welcome any comments and ways to help disseminate this strategy to the wider public and save lives.

ScienceMichael in Tennessee, USA
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,402
5,547
Do you have any reliable sources for these claims/theory, or is this your own?
 
  • #3
TeethWhitener
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,677
990
The virus is spread by respiratory droplets, so unless you're sucking listerine into the depths of your lungs, I doubt it will do any good.

EDIT: I probably shouldn't have to say this, but PLEASE DON'T suck listerine into the depths of your lungs.
 
  • #4
berkeman
Mentor
56,817
6,784
Do you have any reliable sources for these claims/theory, or is this your own?
Some Googling...

Dentists are being recommended to use antiseptic rinses on patients before procedures, but this is to help prevent the virus from spreading to the dentists and hygenists, not to help the patient:

https://www.rdhmag.com/pathology/covid-19/article/14169838/recommendations-for-the-dental-practice-in-response-to-covid19

And the WHO has nasal saline treatments in their "MythBusters" section:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
And this: https://craneww.com/knowledge-center/latest-news-and-info/coronavirus-covid-19-faq/
  • Can gargling mouthwash protect you from infection with the new Coronavirus?
No evidence using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new virus.
 
Last edited:
  • #5
BillTre
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,331
2,659
Many drugs have been proposed and are being tested for use in treating corona virus.
Here is a Science article (probably behind a paywall) on trying to figure this all out.
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.57.24 AM.png

Above is a figure from that article showing at which steps in the viral life cycle and where various drugs are thought to affect similar processes in other viruses.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Some Googling...

Dentists are being recommended to use antiseptic rinses on patients before procedures, but this is to help prevent the virus from spreading to the dentists and hygenists, not to help the patient:

https://www.rdhmag.com/pathology/covid-19/article/14169838/recommendations-for-the-dental-practice-in-response-to-covid19

And the WHO has nasal saline treatments in their "MythBusters" section:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters



And this: https://craneww.com/knowledge-center/latest-news-and-info/coronavirus-covid-19-faq/
 
  • #7
So I would say that the double blinded studies have not been done yet but neither have they been concluded on the medication Hydroxychloroquine, which may be used to treat more serious cases of Covid-19.
So we should consider that gargling with an anti-septic (Listerine, Cepacol or similar product) may be a helpful or maybe even considered, effective prophylactic.
Here are links to research articles on, amongst other aspects, the anti-viral spectrum of Listerine:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1079210405801246 and also:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2005.00673.x

An Australian study showed mitigation of transmission of oral gonorrhea.
Here is a fascinating article from Forbes regarding the efficacy of Listerine: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2016/12/21/got-gonorrhoea-try-gargling-with-listerine-no-really/#4
Yes, this is a bacterium but both organisms have a glycoprotein/oligopolysaccharide wall structure.

Right at this minute, people of all ages are dying or suffering terribly. It is certainly worth considering all ideas and concepts to help slow or stop this pandemic.
This concept at least should be discussed by experienced specialists in virology and Infectious diseases.
An ounce of prevention as they say, is worth a pound of cure.
Please pass on to those who can help evaluate this concept. By doing so, you may save many lives.
A. Michael in Tennessee, USA
 
  • #8
Two of the keys in any study would be : length of gargling and how frequently to use per day.
Right now, all things should be considered. People are dying and the pandemic is spreading like wild fire.
 
  • #9
BillTre
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,331
2,659
Using something like listerine would only treat the virus in your mouth/throat at the time you use it. Not before and not after.
You may well be exposed to the virus in your mouth prior to listerine-ing and then treat with listerine, but not before the virus got internized into a cell, at which point the listerine would not affect it unless it killed the cell.

So, if you knew you were exposed (perhaps because you just kissed someone and then found out they were sick), then an immediate treatment with listerine might be useful (while the viruses are limited to your mouth and not yet inside any cells). Otherwise probably not.

This concept at least should be discussed by experienced specialists in virology and Infectious diseases.
The imperative now is to save lives. An ounce of prevention as they say, is worth a pound of cure.
I think it makes more sense for highly trained professional to pursue approaches that are more likely to be useful.
Doing a double blind study on something like this would take a lot of time and effort with little in the way of a reasonably expected positive outcome.
 
  • #11
Laroxe
Science Advisor
248
220
When we are exposed to the virus it rapidly gains access to the cells lining the upper respiratory tract. Really to be any use you would have to maintain a constant level of the antiseptic on the surface membranes and once the virus has gained entry the antiseptic would need to strip and destroy the cells, that would not be sensible. While Listerine does feel as if its stripping all the cells of the surface in your mouth, I suspect it doesn't. I've yet to meet anyone who would use it as a nasal wash.
As most mouthwashes remove at least some of the mucus protective layers in the mouth, they could theoretically increase the risk and they simply don't treat all the vulnerable areas. I simply don't think its very credible really. Having said that there is a frantic search taking place for anything that might be useful in modifying risk and treating the disease, we should start seeing more of the results of these efforts.
 
  • #12
10
9
With respiratory viral diseases, the way virion reach the bronchial tubes and then lungs is usually from tiny colonized locations that then expand in the upper respiratory tract, especially in the sinuses because that tract is about the only areas of the body with temperatures below the normal body temperature of 98.6F where those virus multiply at greatest rates that overwhelm leukocyte aka white blood cell, defenses. To this point the effects of temperature on coronavirus are uncertain. After virion enter cells, they hijack the DNA machinery to create millions of virus that then burst though cell lipid walls and continue to spread. That causes cytokines to release and with mucous post nasal drip to flow down the back of ones throat that at the epiglottis gate, either goes down the esophagus when swallowing into the stomach or if not into the bronchial tube.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323431

Some research suggests that rhinoviruses may replicate more efficiently at temperatures lower than 37°C, or 98.6°F, which is the average core body temperature in humans. The temperature inside the nasal cavity is approximately 33°C (91.4°F), which may make it an ideal breeding ground for rhinoviruses.

Take the following as speculation as I won't be adding a technical link to support the below.

Such viruses have evolved to take advantage of natural gravity flow when a person is standing or laying down on their backs that will tend to cause that flow to go into the bronchial tubes. By sleeping face down that is of course somewhat uncomfortable, the gravity flow will instead tend to go into the esophagus or get stuck at the epiglottis. Very important with this virus as allowing the virus into the bronchial tubes can lead to a bad cough and worse, deadly viral pneumonia that is killing.

Although news media is full of stories proclaiming many people are asymptomatic (meaning absolutely no symptoms though contagious), that may not quite be true. There are many people that have chronic or such frequent respiratory issues like allergies, rhinitis, or are smokers, or are alcohol or other substance abusers, or simply tend to not be very aware of their healthiness possibly because they are too focused on other activities, that they may not be as aware as the rest of us. Additionally when interviewed there are people that may have minor symptoms that are afraid or embarrassed to admit that they were at work or out in public possibly infecting others while having symptoms, so lie about it. Consider the dominant numbers of people that year after year go into work with head colds and flu.

Although one will not read about such on any medical sites, if one thinks they may have been exposed to the virus during the day but have not yet developed symptoms, later at night sleep with something extra warm, especially down clothing like in sleeping bags around one's head, throat, and upper chest while allowing some lower body parts cooler air so one will not overheat. That is because such viruses as head cold viruses, multiply at highest rates below normal body temperature and there is a reasonable chance the new coronavirus is similar. By doing so one has nothing to lose while possibly may save a life.
 
Last edited:
  • #13
Laroxe
Science Advisor
248
220
The issue of temperature is an interesting one and there is increasing evidence that the virus prefers cool dry conditions, something which is true for the other corona viruses that infect humans and is common among other enveloped viruses. It seems that during warm humid conditions the virus doesn't persist as long on surfaces and there are some ideas as to why dry conditions might predispose people to respiratory infections.
I think its unlikely that adding extra insulation around your head and neck would help, our bodies are rather good at maintaining specific temperatures and readily redistributes heat. It might be better to consider the old standard of steam inhalations which can effect the conditions of the surface membranes in the resp. tract. Its probably best to avoid using additives. Generally its difficult to maintain the temperature at a reasonable level but one of those facial sauna's can be ideal. In other sorts of infections in which heat is used part of the effect is due to increased enzyme activity when its warmer, this requires maintaining the higher temperature for periods of around 15-20 minutes a time.
So far the evidence around the effects of temperature and humidity, like much of the evidence around Covid 19 should be considered preliminary but as David 777 says these things are unlikely to cause harm if used sensibly.
I can't see that the sleeping position would be relevant, even if it might be in the human corona viruses (and I don't know). The Covid 19 virus has no evolved in a way to optimise infecting humans, its only recently crossed species and we are not sure from what, its natural host is unlikely to have walked upright.
Still its all interesting stuff.
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767
 
  • #14
10
9
As a retired senior now that worked decades in hi tech corp offices and labs with large numbers of others often sick with head colds and influenza viruses during winter, have managed to only actually catch about 3 or 4 illnesses per decade that is about 10 times less than normal. At times like being in a home with sick kids. Although I've occasionally over the years passed the advice onto respiratory researchers, not surprisingly never responses. Sooner or later expect some medical professional will take notice and try it themselves as it is so easy, so will continue to occasionally mention it as I did above.

And have a few other believers that do so also. But that could be due to other reasons including my personal body of course as is a complex issue. What I didn't mention above is I've also knocked viruses out many times doing such at earliest stages when noticing the slightest sinus or throat issues that most often happen while waking up from sleep in the middle of the night. Instead of rolling over, I'll get up and gargle to clear anything in my throat and put a down balaclava on my head. A few hours later no symptoms as though the virus with temperatures warmer could not multiply at a rate fast enough while the colonized site was still tiny versus the rate that leukocytes were destroying them. Once symptoms become obviously noticeable I'm usually dead meat just like everyone else and a disease will run its course.
 
  • #15
Laroxe
Science Advisor
248
220
As a retired senior now that worked decades in hi tech corp offices and labs with large numbers of others often sick with head colds and influenza viruses during winter, have managed to only actually catch about 3 or 4 illnesses per decade that is about 10 times less than normal. At times like being in a home with sick kids. Although I've occasionally over the years passed the advice onto respiratory researchers, not surprisingly never responses. Sooner or later expect some medical professional will take notice and try it themselves as it is so easy, so will continue to occasionally mention it as I did above.

And have a few other believers that do so also. But that could be due to other reasons including my personal body of course as is a complex issue. What I didn't mention above is I've also knocked viruses out many times doing such at earliest stages when noticing the slightest sinus or throat issues that most often happen while waking up from sleep in the middle of the night. Instead of rolling over, I'll get up and gargle to clear anything in my throat and put a down balaclava on my head. A few hours later no symptoms as though the virus with temperatures warmer could not multiply at a rate fast enough while the colonized site was still tiny versus the rate that leukocytes were destroying them. Once symptoms become obviously noticeable I'm usually dead meat just like everyone else and a disease will run its course.
You have to remember that having a few mild symptoms that disappear quickly is very typical of a lot of viral infections and as the viruses that cause colds which are common, colonise the nose as well as the throat and would be untouched by gargling. While changing the local temperature might interfere with the virus covering your whole head wouldn't do that, the body will simply redistribute the heat, you can only really change the temperature of the surface layers that are exposed to air. That's why steam inhalations are a popular home remedy and have been for a long time, they are less common in hospitals possibly because of the additional risks but they do humidify oxygen delivery.
 

Related Threads on Covid-19 Prevention/Mitigation

  • Last Post
2
Replies
47
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
145
Replies
14
Views
343
Replies
6
Views
131
Replies
18
Views
356
Replies
10
Views
205
Replies
7
Views
178
Replies
86
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
176
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
153
Top