Gargling saltwater could help combat early symptoms of coronavirus, scientists say
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Gargling saltwater could help combat early symptoms of coronavirus, scientists say

SEA SALT could play a key role in reducing the initial symptoms of coronavirus, according to new research. 

A new study from the University of Edinburgh found something as simple as gargling saltwater could boot the antiviral defence of the cells in the body that are activated when the body is affected by a cold. 

The research follows on from a trial conducted in 2019 which found test subjects who gargled and cleared nose with saltwater were less congested and had fewer coughs. 

Scientists are now examining whether a similar approach could benefit patients with the initial symptoms of Covid-19. 

Professor Aziz Sheikh, director of the university’s Usher Institute, said: “We are now moving to trial our saltwater intervention in those with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, and hope it will prove to be a useful measure to reduce the impact and spread of the infection. 

“It only requires salt, water and some understanding of procedure so should – if found to be effective – be easy and inexpensive to implement widely.” 

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In the original Edinburgh and Lothians Viral Intervention Study, or ELVIS – half the test subjects gargled saltwater while the other dealt with a cold as they normally would. 

Scientists are now recruiting volunteers for a more in-depth look at how the solution could be used to combat the virus. 

Anyone joining the new trial will be required to stick to the strict rules of hygiene and self-isolation. 

One half of those recruited will then be asked to gargle and clear their nose with salt water for the duration of the test with a scientist on-hand to closely monitor the outcomes. 

To find out more or take part, visit https://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/elvis-covid-19.