Nasal Spray That Prevents Covid Infection For Up To Two Days Could Be Available By Summer
A nasal spray able to prevent infection of coronavirus for up to two days could become available on the high street by the summer, scientists say.
A team at the University of Birmingham have been working on the innovative spray since April last year.
They say it could be particularly useful in densely populated environments such as schools and aeroplanes.
The spray is made from ingredients already approved for medical use, meaning further approval wouldn't be required for it to be rolled out in chemists.
The researchers believe that using it four times a day should provide general protection from the deadly virus, but say it is also safe enough to be applied every 20 minutes if in a higher-risk environment.
Lead researcher Dr Richard Moakes said the spray is suitable for both adults and children, meaning it may even be the key to getting schools reopen.
He said: "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.
"It means we would give it to children and adults alike, and it might be able to get schools going again.
"If it could facilitate getting students back to school, and education being re-established, then that would be great.
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"I am confident that the formulation can make an impact.
"Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible, we would really like to see this happen by summer."
According to the Sunday Telegraph, the team of scientists are already in discussions with shops and pharmaceutical companies for the next steps to mass produce the spray.
There are hopes it may help ease social distancing.
The product is a combination of an antiviral agent called carrageenan and a solution known as gellan, a gelling agent able to stick to cells inside the nose.
The two work together to trap the virus inside the nose and cover it in a coating so that it can't escape.
Speaking in November last year ahead of human trials, the study's co-author Professor Liam Grover 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.
"The spray we have formulated delivers that protection, but can also prevent the virus being passed from person to person."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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