Could a mouthwash kill COVID-19?
According to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales, an ingredient in certain mouthwashes has shown “promising signs” in limiting the viral load of COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus. After more research, this could be big.
The scientists discovered mouthwashes containing at least 0.7% cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) was able to kill COVID-19 within 30 seconds of exposure to it. The lab tests were conducted replicating the conditions of the human nasopharynx and oropharynx passages.
These preliminary findings have yet to be peer-reviewed and further studies need to be conducted, especially on how CPC interacts with COVID-19 in human saliva.
Some of the brands with cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) include:
- Dentyl mouthwash
- Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection mouthwash [click here]
- Colgate Total Pro-Shield [click here]
- Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Mouthwash [click here]
- Oral-B Pro-Expert Multi-Protection Alcohol-Free mouthwash
- Colgate Plax Cool Mint [click here]
- OraCare+ Sensitive Alcohol-Free Fluoride mouthwash
Of course, this still means we have to utilize the preventative measures to keep us all safe:
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your mask
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or petsIf soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain A MINIMUM of 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put A MINIMUM of 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectant will work.
Monitor Your Health Daily
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
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Protect Your Health This Flu Season
It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever.
While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19 there are many important benefits, such as:
- Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
- Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19
We are still our own best ally and enemy in the fight against COVID-19.