KIMT News 3 - Recent studies suggest mouthwash could decrease the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine examined a variety of different mouthwashes and nasal rinses for activity against a coronavirus closely related to the one that causes COVID-19.
Dr. Rick Kennedy, co-director of vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic, said he's not surprised that the chemicals inside mouthwash will kill the virus. However, he is surprised it's thought to prevent transmission.
"It might eliminate all the virus there temporarily, but relatively quickly you will have virus produced there and move back in," Dr. Kennedy said. "So, I think it's unlikely to reduce transmission for an extended period of time."
Dr. Kennedy says it's important to remember the study was conducted in a lab, and that Petri dishes are a very different environment than the human mouth or nose.
"I don't think [people] should count on that as being a preventive measure or protective measure," Dr. Kennedy said. "They should still wear masks, they should still social distance, they'll just be able to do that with slightly fresher breath."