A nasal spray that can stop Covid-19 infections and transmissions has been developed by a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK, Sky News reported on Thursday.
Those behind the study say the spray catches and neutralises the virus in the nose, where it can be destroyed by blowing through the nostrils or swallowing.
The study is yet to be peer reviewed, however.
However, its authors insist that, as the spray envelops the virus, any particles that are passed on to another person through sneezing or coughing are less likely to result in transmission, scientists said.
“Although our noses filter thousands of litres of air each day, there is not much protection from infection, and most airborne viruses are transmitted via the nasal passage,” said Prof. Liam Grover, one of the leading researchers.
“The spray we have formulated delivers that protection, but can also prevent the virus being passed from person to person.”
Lab experiments showed that the spray could prevent infection for up to two days. Experts suggested that regular use could “significantly reduce disease transmission.”
The spray could be especially useful in crowded buildings or areas, including airports and classrooms, scientists say.
“This spray is made from readily available products that are already being used in food products and medicines, and we purposely built these conditions into our design process. It means that, with the right partners, we could start mass production within weeks,” said Dr. Richard Moakes, co-author of the study.
“Products like these don’t replace existing measures such as wearing masks and washing hands, which will continue to be vital to preventing the spread of the virus. However, what this spray will do is add a second layer of protection to prevent and slow virus transmission.”