A nasal spray capable of preventing infection from coronavirus, as well as stopping people from infecting others, has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. It catches and coats the virus inside the nose, from where it can be eliminated by either nose-blowing or swallowing. As the virus is encapsulated in the spray, it is prevented from being taken-up by the body. Professor Liam Grover, one of the leading authors of the study, said: “Although our noses filter thousands of litres of air each day, there is not much protection from infection, and most airborne viruses are transmitted via the nasal passage. The spray we have formulated delivers that protection.”
The spray compounds are already widely approved by regulatory bodies in the UK, Europe and the US, so the spray could be commercially available very quickly. The spray is composed of two polysaccharide polymers. The first is an antiviral agent called carrageenan, commonly used in foods as a thickening agent. The second is a solution called gellan which has the ability to be sprayed into fine droplets inside the nasal cavity. he team believe the spray could be particularly useful in areas where crowding is less avoidable, such as aeroplanes or classrooms. It don’t replace existing measures such as mask wearing and handwashing.