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Friday 5th June 2020

Scientists claim gargling mouthwash could kill coronavirus and cut risk of infection

The World Health Organisation isn't so sure, though…

Scientists have claimed that gargling mouthwash could kill coronavirus.

Not only that, it could also cut the risk of being infected with the bug.

Research found that gargling for just 30 seconds has worked on similar viruses.

Using mouthwash could help kill coronavirus (Credit: Pexels)

Coronavirus is an "enveloped virus" – a type of virus covered by a fatty layer.

The fatty layer is vulnerable to certain chemicals and this is where mouthwash could come in.

Mouthwash can work against such viruses by damaging the outer shell, making them harmless.

Read more: Duchess Kate's secret message to the NHS

Experts are now calling for research into how mouthwash could be used in the fight against coronavirus.

The virus is thought to multiply in the throat and it's hoped well-known brands could help in the fight to stop the spread.

It could "reduce transmission"

Professor Valerie O’Donnell from Cardiff University lead the study, which was published in the journal Function.

She said: "Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK."

Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK.

She added: "Research on other enveloped viruses, including coronaviruses, supports the idea that oral rinsing should be considered as a potential way to reduce transmission."

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However, before you start to buy bottles of Listerine…

Well-known brands haven't been tested yet though (Credit: Tesco)

The professor said mouthwash has not yet been tested against this "new coronavirus".

So we don’t yet know whether existing mouthwashes are active against the fatty shell of COVID-19.

She added: "People should follow the measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands and maintaining social distance."

WHO responds

However, the World Health Organisation has dismissed the claims.

It was asked on Facebook: "Can gargling mouthwash protect you from infection?"

The reply was a flat "no".

It's advised Brits still wash hands thoroughly (Credit: Pexels)

"There is no evidence that mouthwash will protect you from infection with coronavirus," it said.

Today (May 14), the UK reported another 428 deaths from coronavirus.

It takes the death toll since the start of the outbreak earlier this year to 33,614.

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