Can antiviral nasal spray prevent spread of COVID?

A recent study of a nasal antiviral created by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons suggests that the spray may block transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including recent variants, among humans.

The study published in the journal Science on February 17, 2020, says the medicine blocked transmission of the virus in ferrets, which are commonly used for studies of respiratory diseases.

The researchers envision their formulation as a prophylactic agent that people would apply to their nasal passages – where COVID-19 most readily enters the body – two to six hours or more before potential exposure. The lipopeptide is robust and stable at room temperature, eliminating the need for refrigeration or cold-chain storage.

“So, for example, if you want to go to a gathering, say a basketball game or somewhere where you’re nervous that you might be exposed to the virus, this product is something that you would spray in your nose at the beginning of the day, and should enable a 24-hour or more protection from the virus,” Alabi said.

The antiviral lipopeptide is inexpensive to produce, has a long shelf life, and does not require refrigeration. These features make it stand out from other antiviral approaches under development, including many monoclonal antibodies. The new nasal lipopeptide could be ideal for halting the spread of COVID in the United States and globally; the transportable and stable compound could be especially key in rural, low-income, and hard-to-reach populations.

Some scientists say that, if effective, the nasal spray would seem to eliminate the argument for the need for universal mask wearing in public.

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14 thoughts on “Can antiviral nasal spray prevent spread of COVID?”

  1. Thanks for the article, and any treatments are good news, but the fact is we already don’t need “universal mask wearing in public” because the masks aren’t much more than totems anyway. There is significant evidence that these pieces of cloth and paper we’re strapping across our faces are useless. My sense is it’s either a sense of self-righteous virtue, pride or control that keeps the powers pushing them and the people being compliant and wearing them.

  2. Fabulous news! The science that has advanced from this virus is amazing. And the idea of not needing to wear masks is such a welcomed relief.

    I got the Pfizer vaccines. I work in healthcare and so officially I have to wear a mask, but when I’m outdoors and socially distanced, I don’t wear a mask. I still get those glaring looks. Or maybe the looks are jealous. Maybe they are longing looks, “I wish those days where I could see a smile were really here.”

    The misinformation about the masks, I believe, is to promote a warning — it’s a physical sign of caution about the pandemic, that it’s still around.

    Unfortunately however, the pandemic is not as harmful to the overall population as we originally feared. But we can’t get Pandora’s demons back into the box.

    (Especially since the cascading ratings of the regular news media can only be propped up by drama, and the pandemic made that particular demon fat with our fears.)

    The spray that they’ve invented will be a wonderful way to break free of this.

    I always read Sharyl’s daily newsletters – I’ve stopped watching the news basically. Thank you Sharyl, once again, for being a responsible, reliable reporter. God bless you and your family.

    1. I have never read a more thought out reasoned and hopeful antidote to the present mask insanity. God bless you forever.

    2. You already didn’t “need to wear a mask.” They don’t work.
      You didn’t get a ‘vaccine’ you got experimental untested gene therapy.
      There is a ready market for this nasal spray. It would exist whether it worked or not. After paying close attention to the ‘science’ on this subject over the past year+, I would venture that this product is not worth a hill of beans. The development time is a clue here.

  3. I have been advocating for people to be savvy and make certain their nasal passage and mouth and throat are kept hydrated and clear. and have been using over the counter nasal products as well as mouth products. Also, lemon drops seem to be good for keeping mouth moist. Lots of Calcium, all the Alphabet Vitamins, Zinc, Magnesium and keep hydrated………

  4. Your article says the study was published Feb 17 2020. How, with the virus just getting to be known about, would they have made a study and published it in Feb 2020???

  5. COVID-19 is a SARS virus.

    In the latter part of 2020 medical research indicated that nasal sprays, mouth washes, brushing teeth can significantly reduce the transmission of COVID They said, a couple times a day. Probably not as effective, but more affordable.

    This wasn’t as thorough as the study as above, but it helps. I imagine the above is a prescription strength product available through a pharmacy.

    Politics kept the medical community from focusing on the disease itself and the best ways to protect ourselves.

    1. My dental hygienist uses a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with the blue listerine. We were discussing preventions, treatments & vaccines. I am opting for a wait & see, with an emphasis on treatments.

  6. What we need is for Donald Trump to express support for this option, then it will get massive news coverage ridiculing it. Governors will forbid it’s use. Dr. Fauci will dismiss.

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