A nasal spray that stops Covid infections for up to two days could be available in chemists by the summer, a researcher has claimed.
Dr Richard Moakes of the University of Birmingham reckons his team's formula can help lift Britain out of lockdown and "get schools going again".
The lead researcher has been in discussions with shops and pharmaceutical giants over mass producing the product they've been working on since last April.
It is reportedly made from ingredients that have already passed human safety approval tests – and said to work by capturing the virus in the nose and encapsulating it in a coating which it cannot escape from.
Dr Moakes told the Telegraph : “As an over the shelf product, we have spoken to companies with a presence on the high street as we think they could distribute it effectively.
“Based on the product, it will be much quicker to get to the user than a novel drug.
“I am confident that the formulation can make an impact. Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible, we would really like to see this happen by summer.”
The research group announced that laboratory experiments showed the spray prevented a coronavirus infection from spreading for up to 48 hours last November.
The team believes using the spray four times a day would be enough for general protection, although it is safe enough to be applied every 20 minutes if in a high-risk, densely populated environment such as schools.
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Dr Moakes reckons that the spray which hasn't been named yet could be particularly effective in getting children back into classrooms across the country.
He said: “We think it will help in schools, as one of the good things about the formulation of the nasal spray is that it would not need to be reformulated for children.
“It means we would give it to children and adults alike, and it might be able to get schools going again.
“We also believe that the way it sprays would make it more user compliant, reducing the sensations which put people off many current nasal applicants.
“If it could facilitate getting students back to school, and education being re-established, then that would be great.”
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