The coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak is currently spreading like wildfire around the world in recent times as scientists are getting to know more ways of tackling the pandemic. Now a study has suggested that washing a person's nose and mouth with an iodine solution can prevent a person from getting infected with the novel virus.

Researchers poured a solution of the antiseptic povidone-iodine (PVP-I) at three different concentrations on a sample of the virus. They discovered that even a concentration of just 0.5 percent completely inactivated the SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 15 seconds.

The team from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine stated that the rinses can prevent the person-to-person spread of the novel virus and also stop a severe case by decreasing the amount of the virus that travels to the lungs. It is known that the nose has high levels of receptor ACE-2, which the virus uses to enter and also infect the human cells.

Iodine in Preventing COVID-19

Wuhan Coronavirus
Twitter / Imran Iftikhar

Many clinical have focused on nasal irrigation and washes as a way of curbing the pandemic that has killed over 940,000 people worldwide. Earlier research has found that PVP-I has been efficient in activating pathogens related to the novel virus.

For the research, that got published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the team of scientists tested the virus against the solutions in which PVP-I was the only active ingredient. The solution was diluted at three different concentrations 0.5 percent, 1.25 percent, and 2.5 percent. PVP-I concentrations were then put in comparison with a 70 percent ethanol solution and watched for reactions after 15 seconds and 30 seconds.

All the three iodine antiseptics totally inactivated the virus within 15 seconds of contact. However, the ethanol control was not able to totally kill the virus in the same time period. The study demonstrated that a contact time of 15 seconds is enough for viral inactivation, as per the authors. "Widespread use of PVP-I nasal antiseptic in patients prior to intranasal procedures could significantly decrease the risk of virus transmission via droplet and aerosol spread," the authors added.

The researchers also stated that this can lower the risk of a person contracting a severe case of coronavirus by decreasing the viral load that travels to the lungs. "Povidone-iodine nasal irrigation may be beneficial for the population at large as an adjunct to mask usage as a means of virus mitigation," the authors wrote.