Could a $25 oral and nasal antiseptic protect against COVID-19? That’s the theory behind giving a group of Long Island bus drivers a new nasal spray called Halodine to help ward off the illness.
According to ABC7 News, the spray contains an ingredient called povidone-iodine, or PVP-1, that its manufacturer claims can kill the coronavirus in 15 seconds. Dr. Jesse Pelletier, the president of Halodine LLC, said the product was created by fellow doctors who wanted a safe and effective preventative tool that could help them reopen.
The ABC affiliate says NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green is working with the company to try and distribute the spray to essential workers and even professional football players.
“You can’t socially distance. Every player is gonna end up in a pile of humans, you aren’t wearing a mask,” said Green.
Nasal antiseptics, such as Halodine, can kill SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory settings in as little as 15 seconds. Although they have not been tested in people yet, many experts believe they may be helpful in combating COVID-19.
According to Verywell Health, Dr. Samantha Frank of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine says that iodine-based nasal antiseptics have been used to treat other conditions, such as inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity, for years.
“They are not new or unique to COVID-19, but fortunately inactivate SARS-CoV-2 as well,” she said. According to Verywell Health, PVP-1 also kills MRSA, SARS-CoV, influenza H1N1, and the rotavirus.
Dr. Samuel Barone, a founding board member of Halodine LLC, says the product has been used for decades to help protect hospitalized patients and healthcare workers as well as consumers. In a lab-based clinical trial, it was found to kill 99.99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 15 seconds. The scientists are recruiting volunteers for human testing.
Other nasal antiseptics may also help protect against COVID-19. Some nasal sprays contain benzalkonium chloride, which is used in many antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers.
Experts say that human trials are underway to determine how well PVP-1 and other nasal antiseptics work to prevent COVID-19 and warn that people with thyroid disorders or cancers, iodine allergies, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use the formulation.
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