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20 Billion Daily Saltwater Nasal Rinses and Gargles for Covid-19

If everyone who can, salt-gargles and nasal-irrigates daily, it will fight the COVID-19 pandemic
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A 2019 study published in the journal 'Nature' reported that nasal irrigation and gargling with salt water helps kill the viruses that cause the common cold.

A recent reanalysis (made public in April) found the same procedure is effective with coronavirus infections. The study's authors recommend gargling and nasal irrigation as a treatment option for COVID-19.

The mechanism how this works is described in a paper linked below ('Antiviral innate immune response ... intracellular hypochlorous acid levels'). The body's cells recruit negative Cl- ions from the saltwater (NaCl) solution to formulate HOCl (the active ingredient in bleach). If disinfectants like bleach are applied topically, they destroy both tissue and virus. But here, the body's' cells generate HOCl in a targeted manner *within the cell* to suppress the virus.

Gargling and nasal irrigation are simple and cheap home remedies familiar to billions worldwide. Let's do this thrice a day in our fight against COVID-19. See the 'Gargling and nasal irrigation procedure' link below for more information.

Some notes:

The official name of the procedure is "HSNIG" (Hypertonic Saline Nasal Irrigation and Gargling). But "Saltwater Infusion in Nose and Gargling" or "SING" is a memorable alternative.

The official procedure of nasal irrigation uses a cup, but an alternative is introducing pre-boiled and salted water into the nose with a teaspoon.

The link 'UVC Light Oral Device for Covid-19' is another idea for an oral device that emits low doses of far Ultraviolet-C light (safe to human tissue, but harmful to viruses).

sonam, Apr 07 2020

A pilot, open labelled, randomised controlled trial of hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling for the common cold https://www.nature....018-37703-3#ref-CR9
Gargling and nasal irrigation with salt water helps combat the common cold virus (shorter illness, milder symptoms, reduced viral shedding, and 35% reduction in transmission to household contacts) [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

Gargling and nasal irrigation procedure http://www.elvisstu...n-and-gargling.html
The nasal irrigation and gargling procedure described in the study [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

Pre-print announcement: "Hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling should be considered as a treatment option for COVID-19" https://twitter.com...1246840300615630856
(Announced on Twitter on April 6 2020) Reanalysis of 2019 gargling and nasal-irrigation study shows the procedure is also effective against coronaviruses. [sonam, Apr 07 2020, last modified Apr 11 2020]

Antiviral innate immune response in non-myeloid cells is augmented by chloride ions via an increase in intracellular hypochlorous acid levels https://www.nature..../s41598-018-31936-y
The mechanism by which gargling and irrigation with salt solution works. Your cells use chloride ions from the salt solution to generate hypochlorous acid (the active ingredient in bleach), and use it to kill the virus. [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

How Grandmother’s Gargling Remedy Could Help Abate The Coronavirus https://thefederali...te-the-wuhan-virus/
"Theoretically, the remedy your grandma gave you when you had a sore throat could be used as a proactive step to help kill Covid-19." [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

Homemade saline solution that could help abate COVID-19 http://theheartatta...elp-abate-covid-19/
"Saline sprayed in the nose and gargled in the throat can kill the common cold virus." [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

Got a cold? Gargle salt water! Old wives tale really does work as scientists say it causes body to produce 'anti-viral BLEACH' https://www.dailyma...i-viral-BLEACH.html
"The common cold can be cured with salt water because the body uses it to produce anti-viral bleach, scientists say." [sonam, Apr 07 2020]

Johns Hopkins says this is a myth. https://www.jhsph.e...facts-vs-myths.html
Myth: The coronavirus remains in the throat for 4 days, causing sore throat and coughing before it reaches the lungs. Drinking a lot of water and gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar eliminates the virus.
Reality: “While it is true that coronavirus can cause a sore throat and gargling with warm water may make it feel better, it has no direct effect on the virus.” [tatterdemalion, Apr 07 2020]

Article showing procedure WORKS against Coronaviruses http://www.jogh.org.../jogh-10-010332.htm
Post-hoc reanalysis of the data from the 2019 Nature paper (1st link). It shows gargling and nasal-irrigation with salt water is also effective against coronaviruses. [sonam, Apr 11 2020]

UVC Light Oral Device for Covid-19 UVC_20Light_20Oral_...ce_20for_20Covid-19
Another baked idea that may help with advanced Covid infections - an oral device that emits UVC light.It could also emit a mist of warm salty air (like from an ultrasonic transducer vaporizing a saline solution) [sonam, Apr 14 2020]


       I don't think it's appropriate to be offering questionable (or any sort of) medical advice on the halfbakery.   

       Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security says this has no direct effect on the virus. (link)
tatterdemalion, Apr 07 2020

       Tatterdemalion - I get your concerns. But medical professionals around the world are struggling to cope with Covid-19. Where we can assist, we should -- such as with social isolation. But this virus will come knocking on everyone's door... in second, third waves, and more. If we have a safe, scalable preemptive procedure that works, we should use it.   

       The John Hopkins advice you linked to is wrong. I assume its author is unaware of the research linked here, which is recent. The 'Nature' paper (1st link) showing salt irrigation and gargling procedure works is dated 2019. But its followup article (3rd link) showing that it works against Coronaviruses is brand new (pre-print was announced 5 days ago).   

       Below is personal communication from a professor I wrote to who backs this advice. I've also written to the JHU professor dismissive about gargling, but haven't heard back yet.   

       "Sonam, thank you for promoting this advice which would significantly slow the spread of Covid- 19. Johns Hopkins is a fine institution, but obviously, they are ignorant of the recently published science. That is not shocking as it generally takes 25 to 30 years for good published science to be utilized. We must keep pushing this message which has excellence science behind it. The medical professionals against it will eventually be shown to be ill-informed!" -- Bradley F. Bale, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Washington State University School of Medicine.
sonam, Apr 11 2020

       I'm just some dude on the internet too, which is why I'm not offering medical advice here, and neither should you.
tatterdemalion, Apr 12 2020

       //medical advice here//   

       People come here for psychological advice, not medical. I doubt halfbakery.com is first on Googles engine for medical advice.   

       Question posed as a statement and boned. Salt water up my nose usually makes me spill even more gooey cellular stuff. [-]
wjt, Apr 12 2020

       Thanks wjt.   

       // Salt water up my nose usually makes me spill even more gooey cellular stuff.   

       Exactly what needs to happen :) ... But it's not just what comes out that helps, but what goes in -- the salt solution. Your cells reuse the 'Cl' chloride ions to generate hypochlorous acid, using it to suppress the virus.   

       Quoting from the fourth link: "In cell culture models, DNA, RNA, enveloped and non- enveloped viruses are all inhibited in the presence of NaCl. [...] Here, we show that epithelial, fibroblast and hepatic cells have enhanced antiviral activity in the presence of increasing concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl). [...] In the presence viral infection and the availability of NaCl, cells utilise the chloride ions to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl)"   

       So grandma's generation was right, even thought they didn't know exactly how it worked.
sonam, Apr 12 2020

       And a greater chance for transfer of infection if gargling/ clean up procedures are not correct. Infectious spots around the sink, if viral kill isn't 100%   

       True nature is messy, helping that when it's against you is not a good idea.
wjt, Apr 13 2020

       <Uncle Billy ambles in>   

       Imma tell yuh hwhat--that thar salty swillin' works a charm, an' jest spit 'er right in tha spitoon, or better yet right sideways outen tha side'a yer gob right thar onta tha barnyard. Maw allus said 'A swish'a salt water 'n'then a swig'a whiskey', and durned iffn she warn't bang on 'bout that. Anyhow, I ain't got tha Covid yet, ner did anyalls the kinfolk. Mind you, we ain't'n sure in any sure way that Cousin Jeb warn't gonna die of it, 'fore the cow got 'im sqware 'tween the eyeballs last week.   

       <Uncle Billy exeunt>
Sgt Teacup, Apr 13 2020

       Gr. "exit"   

       ... unless Uncle Billy is some sort of hive intelligence, or plural for some other reason.
pertinax, Apr 13 2020

       Those Appalachians are labelled for there unique reproducing ways.
wjt, Apr 13 2020

       My gut instinct is that this would help to control it in its early stages before you knew you really had it, as maybe it keeps your immune system less preoccupied?   

       Once its in your lungs, probably not effective.
RayfordSteele, Apr 13 2020

       //Gr. 'exit'// Well spotted, [pert]; an artifact of the first draft <Uncle Billy and The Boys exeunt> when The Boys' dialogue was purged.   

       Of course HB Grammar Police operate in four official languages.
Sgt Teacup, Apr 13 2020

       Sgt Teacup - Well said! :-)   

       wjt - //if gargling/ clean up procedures are not correct...   

       A fair hypothetical but your concern is directly addressed by the research results: a 35% *reduction* in virus transmission to household contacts. If you look at the researcher's website, he also suggests rinsing out the mug with soap after the procedure to protect against cross- infection. Yes, you're expelling virus particles into your sink, but that means its not *in* you. And you can always clean the sink (the virus don't like soap much). This is more a problem in very dense, communal living arrangements -- like tenement or dormitories with shared bathroooms.   

       RayfordSteele - I agree. That this is a pre- emptive/prophylactic measure that works best at the initial stage of the infection. At later stages, I had another half-baked idea that may help with that - a oral device that emits UVC light. It could also emit a mist of warm salty air (like from an ultrasonic transducer vaporizing a saline solution) -- see last link
sonam, Apr 14 2020


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