Dr. Richard Moakes, the study’s lead researcher, is confident that the spray’s formula would work and it would “help unlock society from social distancing restrictions and “get schools going again” he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.
The human nose filters thousands of liters every day. However, it cannot provide protection from several infections. In fact, most airborne viruses are transmitted to us via the nasal passage and hence we have had to wear masks to protect ourselves from the coronavirus which could easily infect us if it enters our body through our nose. This nasal spray’s development could thus be a significant step in helping curb the spread of the virus.
How will the nasal spray work?
The anti-COVID-19 nasal spray, which has not been named yet, is made up of carrageenan, an antiviral agent, and a solution called gellan. While carrageenan is commonly used in foods as a thickening agent, gellan has been incorporated in the spray because of its ability to stick to cells inside the nose. Gellan, the researchers say, is a vital component of the spray as it can be sprayed into fine droplets inside the nasal cavity, where it will cover the surface evenly and then remain at the delivery spot instead of sliding out of the nose. This will allow the medication to work properly for an extended duration to block the virus.
More importantly, the ingredients have already been approved for medical use. This means that the spray is safe to use and doesn’t need any further approval.
In November last year, the team announced that laboratory experiments had shown that the spray can be effective in preventing the coronavirus infection from spreading for almost 48 hours.
After conducting further experiments, the researchers have now said that the spray would need to be used four times a day for providing general protection. However, if someone is in a high-risk zone, say a crowded area, they can apply the spray every 20 minutes.
This anti-COVID-19 nasal spray could prove to be a game-changer in controlling the coronavirus pandemic
The team believes that this COVID-19 blocking nasal spray could be particularly helpful in getting children back into schools safely.
“We think it will help in schools, as one of the good things about the formulation of the nasal spray is that it would not need to be reformulated for children,” Moakes told The Telegraph. “If it could facilitate getting students back to school, and education being re-established, then that would be great.”
This can be a major game-changer because schools in most parts of the world continue to remain closed in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID. Even in regions where schools have re-opened, attendance remains low. But if this nasal spray can work the way it’s being said it will, it can give students some much-needed confidence to go back to school without fear.
Currently, the team is in discussions with shops and pharmaceutical companies to plan out the next steps on how to launch the nasal spray across the UK. It is likely to be available in the country by this summer and if the results are promising, then we can certainly hope that the medication would then be mass-produced and supplied to different parts of the world.
With mass vaccination drives against COVID-19 having already begun across the world, the development of this nasal spray that can block the deadly virus comes as further good news right at the start of the year. Let’s now hope that it actually works and helps us to get back to normal life as soon as possible.
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