Dr Amir criticises argument for not taking coronavirus vaccine
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COVID-19 is steadily receding in some countries as vaccination programmes gather steam and build herd immunity. The encouraging news means there is a conceivable end to the pandemic and has raised hopes for billions of people. But before they receive a jab, people will need to rely on other methods of protection.
Can nasal sprays kill Covid?
French pharmaceutical company Pharma & Beauty (P&B) announced earlier this month it had developed a nasal spray capable of killing 99.9 percent of the virus.
The spray allegedly works by “mechanically dislodging infectious agents in the nasal cavity”.
In turn, this facilitates their evacuation and “locally reduces the viral load.”
While this is encouraging news, it is by no means a replacement for the Covid vaccine.
Although experts have been able to confirm its effectiveness, the spray acts as a temporary solution.
Unlike vaccines, they would need regular re-application.
Nasal sprays produce nitric oxide, a nano molecule already present in the body, which disrupts the development of a “viral load”.
Pankaj Sharma, a Professor of Neurology at Royal Holloway, University of London, explained the process to the Daily Telegraph.
He told the publication the spray aims to kill the infection where it grows, in the back of the throat.
Professor Sharma said: “We all have it in our body: it keeps the blood vessels dilated and it’s involved in immunity.
“When it comes into contact with viruses or bacteria, it kills it dead virtually on contact, by disrupting the structural integrity of the virus.”
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He added: “It incubates there for seven days: if it gets to a certain viral load, then it drifts down through the trachea into the lungs, which causes symptoms.”
A nasal spray would destroy the virus, but require a regular application to maintain its effectiveness.
As such, it would serve as another tool people could use rather than a definitive solution to contracting the disease.
Doctors have warned people not to conflate them with vaccines, which train the immune system to prevent infection.
Dr Jean-Michel Klein, vice president of doctor’s union the Syndicat National des Médecins spécialisés en ORL, is among them.
He told Franceinfo sprays would act in the same way as wearing a mask or washing hands.
But he added they “must not be mixed up with vaccines, which have a direct effectiveness against the virus”.
Ultimately, nasal sprays could tide people over until vaccination, but they can’t replace them.
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