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Indian experts cast doubt on mouthwash as coronavirus killer

IANS Nov 21, 2020

As we go through studies claiming that widely-available mouthwashes can kill the deadly novel coronavirus, health experts in India cast doubts on such studies, stressing that people should not treat mouthwash as a prevention method from COVID-19 unless proven in clinical settings.

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According to them, any study should not be referred to till it confirms the final outcome and the results cannot be assured till researchers themselves share the final report. Recently, a study from Cardiff University in the UK, which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, found that some mouthwashes could help to kill the coronavirus in saliva.

Speaking to IANS, Dr. Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital in Gurugram, said that the study claim needs to be peer-reviewed before its publication to establish its merit. "COVID-19 can infect a person through the nose and eyes also besides the mouth. The infection through the mucous membrane occurs much faster. Hence theoretically mouth wash for prevention from COVID-19 appears to be doubtful," Goel said. "But having said maintaining good oral hygiene is an important component of healthy living and should be practiced regularly irrespective of COVID infection," he added.

According to Animesh Arya, Senior Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in New Delhi, there are a number of trials and stages that take place in the process of research. The results cannot be assured till researchers themselves share the final report. "It is wise to use mouthwash as it helps to reduce the virus and bacteria in the mouth, but final evidence in regard to killing coronavirus is still awaited," Arya said. Another study published in the Journal of Medical Virology in October also claimed that certain oral antiseptics and mouthwashes might have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses.

Dr. Shiba Kalyan Biswal, Consultant, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, Narayana Hospital in Gurugram told IANS: "Using mouthwash is a good option for oral health which helps in decreasing the chances of virus and bacteria in the mouth, but till the study itself confirms with final result it is not wise to consider it as the solution to kill the coronavirus."

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