Gargling: New Studies Show That Throat Gargling May Be Beneficial After All During COVID-19 Despite Being Labeled In the Past As Misinformation
: In the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, as on one hand we had a stream of some of the most stupid and fake remedies, theories and news about COVID-19 being posted online, we also had a lot of interesting advice and suggestions that were quickly dispelled as being fake or misinformation, most often by certain incompetent and ignorant doctors and government officials or by some of the stupid fact-checkers employed by facebook that is owned by an egocentric American and his ethnic Chinese wife. Interestingly one of the greatest sources of misinformation and fake news was by the incompetent ‘China owned’ WHO that has disseminated so much fake information from the start such as the Wuhan virus was not transmissible between humans, that the virus was not airborne, and a whole litany of lies including the recent information that asymptomatic individuals could not spread the virus.
One advice that was given then was that gargling the throat with either with salt water or even with mouth disinfectants could help. (The key thing here is help…not cure…not prevent but help) This advice was quickly dispelled and labeled as misinformation by numerous morons without even researching or providing scientific evidence as to why so.
However now, researchers from Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan, have suggested that throat gargling may have beneficial effects during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Though gargling would not be able to eradicate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, it might reduce viral load in the throat and positively influence the course of the disease, say researchers Dr Chialing Tsai and Dr Pei-Chang Wu.
In a medical suggestion published in the journal Science Direct - Public Health
, the researchers suggest that gargling with saline or tap water may be beneficial to both high-risk individuals such as healthcare workers and the population in general. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033350620302171?via%3Dihub
The medical experts’ suggestion is supported by recent studies showing that the virus is most active in the throat during the early days of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Research has also suggested that gargling with tap water or hypertonic saline can reduce viral load and disease severity in cases of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
Scientist in Hong Kong recently showed that among SARS-CoV-2 patients, viral loads were highest in oropharyngeal swabs taken during the first week of infection, with loads peaking on day four.
Virologists in Germany found that SARS-CoV-2 infection could be diagnosed using throat swabs taken on the first day of symptom onset when illness would typically be mild. During the initial week of infection, viral replication was highest in the throat, while no evidence of infection was identified in feces samples. Furthermore, genome sequencing identified that SARS-CoV-2 present in the throat differed from the virus present in the lung of the same patient.
Yet another study of SARS-CoV-2 conducted in China showed that a higher viral load in the nasopharynx was associated with more severe disease.
The Taiwanese researchers think that although the main protective measures taken during the current pandemic are still mask-wearing, frequent hand washing and social distancing, new preventative measures are urgently needed to reduce the incidence or at least the severity of COVID-19.
Dr Tsai said, “Reducing the amount of virus in the body tissue at the initial stage of infection might positively influence the course of the disease. Thus, throat gargling, an ancient therapeutic method, might be potentially useful in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A trial conducted in Japan found that gargling with tap water three times per day reduced the incidence of URTIs by 36%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3798579/
Interestingly, another trial in England found that, among URTIs patients, nasal cavity irrigation and gargling with a saline hypertonic solution during the first two days of symptom onset was associated with a significantly lower viral load, a two-day reduction in length of illness, a 36% reduction in the use of medication and a 35% reduction in household transmission. https://www.jogh.org/documents/issue202001/jogh-10-010332.pdf
The researchers say potential mechanisms underlying the observed benefits of gargling may involve viral shedding and inactivation of the virus. They also think the concentration of chlorine in Japanese tap water is enough to inactivate viruses.
The researchers said, “Chloride ions in hypertonic saline have been shown to inhibit virus replication and are used by cells to produce hypochlorous acid to exert antiviral effects.”
In another study published in the journal Function,
another research team said, “It is becoming increasingly recognized that the throat is a major site of replication and shedding of virus in COVID-19 illness and that viral load is important. Throat and sputum are abundant in particles, which peak 5–6 days after symptom onset, and decline thereafter.” https://academic.oup.com/function/article/1/1/zqaa002/5836301
Dr Tsai and Dr Wu point out that since gargling with tap water or saline is almost cost-free, the relative social and economic benefit in terms of reducing URTIs could be huge.
The Researchers said, “During the current pandemic, throat gargling habits with tap water or saline might be suggested for high-risk populations of quarantined people and medical staff. Furthermore, gargling might also benefit the population overall.”
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