Scientists Researching Salt Water to Fight COVID 19 As Evidence Finds It Could Reduce Mild Symptoms and Shorten Illness
Scientists are all set to test an unusual remedy that could possibly be a new CCOVID-19 remedy: saltwater. While gargling with salt water is effective in reducing the symptoms of the common cold and coughs, researchers now want to test if it can actually work to treat people with mild symptoms of the coronavirus.
In people with mild symptoms the virus infects the airways in a similar manner to that of common colds and coughs. This is one reason why researchers want to test the potency of saltwater against the virus.
1The new COVID-19 remedy for people with mild symptoms
People are being recruited by experts from the University of Edinburgh to take part in a study which will test if the body’s antiviral abilities can be enhanced by gargling with saltwater. While doctors are still in the dark about how to treat COVID-19, they still have advised people with mild symptoms to stick to ibuprofen and paracetamol.
2The scientists at Edinburgh want to find out a low-cost remedy for the coronavirus
For NHS use in critically-ill COVID-19 patients, two antivirals have been approved- an anti-Ebola drug remdesivir, and the steroid dexamethasone. However, neither of these can be considered a full-proof cure for the coronavirus.
But, the Edinburgh scientists now want to see if saltwater can be a possible treatment solution for people with mild infections. This could not only prove to be a low-cost option for the people but will also help in preventing the disease from getting worse.
3This idea was taken from research on upper respiratory infections
The idea to test saltwater as a potential new COVID-19 remedy came from ongoing research into upper respiratory infections that caused colds and coughs. People who had these illnesses experienced signs of improvement when they gargled regularly with saltwater in a trial which was dubbed ELVIS (Edinburgh and Lothians Viral Intervention Study).
The results of this trial were published last year and it revealed that those who gargled with saline had less severe coughs. They even had less congestion and their colds didn’t last for long. Compared to those who did not gargle, the people who did didn’t have to resort to taking medicines from the pharmacy nor were they likely to pass on the cold to their family members.
4Salt water may boost the virus-fighting mechanisms in the body
While the Edinburgh team studied a different type of coronavirus, they think that saltwater can boost the natural virus-fighting mechanism of the body. This inbuilt mechanism gets triggered when the body falls ill.
As per the researchers, direct contact with salt has a toxic effect on the viruses or it can stimulate the ‘innate immune mechanisms’ within cells in your airways. The body cells may use salt to create hypochlorous acid which is a chemical that can kill viruses. This chemical is commonly found in cleaning products like bleach.