Covid-19: What if salt water could protect us from serious forms of the disease?
Could a glass of salty water help reduce early symptoms and progression of Covid-19? This is the question asked by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in a new study.
To relieve gum pain or ache, quickly remove sore throat or bad breath, gargling can be effective. This method, which involves rinsing the throat with a liquid without swallowing it, helps to clean irritated mucous membranes and reduce inflammation in the long term. What if saltwater gargling could also have an impact on the Covid-19? This is what scientists at the University of Edinburgh suggest.
Salty water would reduce cold symptoms and limit the risk of virus transmission.
Before presenting this hypothesis, the researchers examined the results of a gargle study conducted last year called ELVIS (Edinburgh and Lothians Viral Intervention Study). This research has shown that gargling with salt water reduces cold symptoms and the duration of infection, which is an average of two and a half days. In fact, after this experiment, scientists noted that people using this home remedy coughed less, were less congested, and recovered faster than other patients. They were also less likely to infect those around them.
Another observation: epithelial cells, which line the organs, could have an antiviral effect. In question ? They produce hypochlorous acid from the chloride ions found in the salt water used to gargle. Hypochlorous acid is the active ingredient in bleach. Epithelial cells could trigger a natural immune mechanism, allowing the body to defend itself against viruses.
Covid-19: salt water, a new hope for treatment?
Scientists have concluded that salt is toxic to viruses. Therefore, they suggested that salt water could stimulate natural mechanisms to fight Covid-19, reducing symptoms and duration of illness.
The researchers now want to know if the use of this saline solution can actually relieve people suffering from a mild form of the coronavirus and limit the risks of developing a severe form of the disease. "We are now going to test our saltwater gargles on people suspected or confirmed of Covid-19, and we hope it will be a useful measure to reduce the impact and spread of infection," Professor Aziz Sheikh, director of the Usher Institute of the University of Edinburgh, he told the BBC.
"This method only requires salt, water and a certain understanding of the procedure, and therefore, if it is effective, it will be easy and inexpensive to implement on a large scale," he adds.
Covid-19: Researchers Launch New Test to Test Saltwater Gargle
To test the effectiveness of this solution on Covid-19 symptoms, the researchers will launch a new study. They are currently recruiting participants. Scientists are looking for adults who live in Scotland and have had symptoms of the coronavirus for up to 48 hours or who have recently tested positive. Volunteers will be asked to gargle salt water daily and continue to respect barrier gestures.
Participants in both groups will keep a diary and record their symptoms daily until they feel better or for up to 14 days. The researchers will then compare the data from the group that gargled saltwater daily with that from the group that didn't gargle to see if there is any difference.