Coronavirus: Scientists want to investigate if mouthwash kills the infection

The scientists have argued the membranes of similar pathogens were disrupted when exposed to ingredients commonly found in mouthwashes, like ethanol, povidone-iodine and cetylpyridinium. Gargling with mouthwashe could inactivate the coronavirus in the throat, helping to prevent it spreading via coughs and sneezes, they added. “Safe use of mouthwash - as in gargling - has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK,” said Professor O’Donnell, lead author of a paper on the issue. “In test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar viruses. Studies have suggested the coronavirus replicates in the salivary glands and throat, the scientists wrote in the journal Function. Ethanol has been shown to kill fellow coronaviruses Sars and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) at concentrations of 60% or higher, like in hand sanitisers. While we await potential studies, they insisted the public must continue to adhere to official guidance on how to ward off infection. “People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance,” said Professor O’Donnell.