Gargling salt water may 'reduce early Covid-19 symptoms'; Scientists set to test its effectiveness
New Delhi, June 26: A new study suggested that gargling saltwater could help reduce coronavirus early symptoms. A team of Scientists at the University of Edinburgh previously discovered that using saline solutions noticeably reduced common colds by two or more days.
The new study builds on a trial published in 2019, which found participants who gargled and cleared their nose with a saltwater solution had fewer coughs and less congestion.
However, the researchers will now investigate whether gargling with salt water can benefit those with COVID-19 symptoms and are recruiting adults in Scotland to take part in trials.
According to Professor Aziz Sheikh, director of the university's Usher Institute,"We are now moving to trial our saltwater intervention in those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and hope it will prove to be a useful measure to reduce the impact and spread of the infection. It only requires salt, water and some understanding of procedure so should - if found to be effective - be easy and inexpensive to implement widely."
Knowing how to treat Covid-19 is still a grey area for doctors, with people with mild symptoms advised to stick to paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Two antivirals have been approved for NHS use on critically-ill patients, the steroid dexamethasone, and an anti-Ebola drug remdesivir - but neither are silver bullets.
The idea for the study came from ongoing research into upper respiratory infections - which commonly cause coughs and colds.
People with those illnesses were found to benefit from gargling regularly with salt water in a trial dubbed ELVIS (Edinburgh and Lothians Viral Intervention Study).
Results from the ELVIS trial, published last year, found people who gargled saline had less severe coughs, less congestion and colds that lasted two days less, on average.
They were also less likely to pass on the cold to family members, or to resort to taking medicines from a pharmacy, compared to people who did not gargle.