International researchers pick up loico’s idea of throat disinfection to counter COVID-19

A group of researchers from the United Kingdom (Cardiff and Cambridge), the United States (Denver, Colorado), Spain (Barcelona), and Canada (Ottawa) has now picked up the idea we have put for­ward almost exact­ly two months ago1 for pre­ven­tive throat dis­in­fec­tion with viru­ci­dal agents that are known to be effec­tive against coro­n­avirus­es and safe to use in the throat.2

The authors begin their arti­cle acknowl­edg­ing that “[e]merging stud­ies increas­ing­ly demon­strate the impor­tance of the throat and sali­vary glands as sites of virus repli­ca­tion and trans­mis­sion in ear­ly COVID-19 dis­ease.”3 They con­tin­ue: “We review known mech­a­nisms of viral lipid mem­brane dis­rup­tion by wide­ly avail­able den­tal mouth­wash com­po­nents that include ethanol, chlorhex­i­dine, cetylpyri­dini­um chlo­ride, hydro­gen per­ox­ide and povi­done-iodine. We also assess exist­ing for­mu­la­tions for their poten­tial abil­i­ty to dis­rupt the SARS-CoV-2 lipid enve­lope, based on their con­cen­tra­tions of these agents, and con­clude that sev­er­al deserve clin­i­cal eval­u­a­tion. We high­light that already pub­lished research on oth­er enveloped virus­es, includ­ing coro­n­avirus­es, direct­ly sup­port the idea that oral rins­ing should be con­sid­ered as a poten­tial way to reduce trans­mis­sion of SARS-CoV-2.”

While it appears to us that the arti­cle slight­ly mis­in­ter­prets the avail­able evi­dence for tem­po­ral virus shed­ding pat­terns in COVID-19, the approach as such, the com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of avail­able options as well as the detailed descrip­tion of struc­tur­al aspects of the viral infec­tion process can only be very much wel­comed.

Close to the end of their arti­cle, the authors state that “giv­en the the­o­ret­i­cal plau­si­bil­i­ty and data we have reviewed plus the read­i­ly avail­able prod­ucts and urgent need to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infec­tion, mea­sures could be con­sid­ered and action tak­en to insti­gate clin­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tion in the pop­u­la­tion dur­ing the out­break.”

While such clin­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tion should def­i­nite­ly be car­ried out (we have called for such in the past4), pri­or­i­ty should clear­ly be giv­en to advis­ing peo­ple to include our pro­pos­al in their per­son­al pro­tec­tive regime even before results of such research are avail­able, giv­en pre­cise­ly (1.) the “the­o­ret­i­cal plau­si­bil­i­ty” and (2.) what the authors say them­selves imme­di­ate­ly after­wards: “Mouthwashes [are] wide­ly uti­lized in dai­ly oral and den­tal hygiene for cos­met­ic and med­ical rea­sons and have demon­strat­ed accept­able tol­er­a­bil­i­ty when used mul­ti­ple times dai­ly for dura­tions of 6 months and longer.”

Little to no risk, high the­o­ret­i­cal plau­si­bil­i­ty of a pos­i­tive effect.

For any­one rely­ing on log­ic in urgent deci­sion mak­ing, in this case the appar­ent med­ical log­ic of the mat­ter, rather than on wait­ing for dis­as­ter to strike, our pro­pos­al was clear­ly the first choice for self-pro­tec­tion from the out­set.

We would also like to men­tion anoth­er call to rea­son, pub­lished just two weeks after our own ini­tial arti­cle, in a let­ter to the edi­tors of the British Medical Journal by a Visiting Professor at Aston University, UK – point­ing to pri­or indi­ca­tions for effi­ca­cy of pre­ven­tive throat dis­in­fec­tion -,5 that went most­ly unheed­ed in a sim­i­lar way as did our ini­tial pro­pos­al.

It has become clear from pos­i­tive exam­ples in Italy that empha­sis must be put on tack­ling infec­tions as ear­ly as at all pos­si­ble in order to avoid lethal out­comes. In the exem­plary regime devel­oped in Piacenza, infect­ed peo­ple are advised on how to mon­i­tor and treat them­selves at home6 rather than being (lat­er) mon­i­tored and treat­ed in the hos­pi­tal (an opti­mal idea giv­en that hos­pi­tals are known for being “opti­mal” envi­ron­ments for acquir­ing infec­tions and super­in­fec­tions). One pro­ce­dure which is typ­i­cal­ly being car­ried out in a hos­pi­tal ICU is reg­u­lar oropha­ryn­geal dis­in­fec­tion in order to avoid devel­op­ment of pneu­mo­nia in patients. Hence our pro­pos­al might well, some­what flip­pant­ly, be con­sid­ered as “Piacenza on steroids”.

And we can­not resist to share the expe­ri­ence we made on the Facebook page of “Nature”, one of the world’s two lead­ing sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals. In the ear­ly days, hope­ful and con­fi­dent to be con­tribut­ing to sav­ing many lives and healthy lung func­tions, we post­ed a link to our arti­cle in the com­ment sec­tion. An edi­tor told us he had masked our link and asked us what we were doing, telling us he could not see on the Website of the WHO any rec­om­men­da­tion to do what we were propos­ing. Belief in author­i­ty: 100 %. Confidence in his own think­ing and sci­en­tif­ic log­ic: 0 %.

So, one might ask, why did we not pur­sue oth­er routes to make our pro­pos­al more wide­ly known? We did. Among oth­er things, we imme­di­ate­ly wrote to Professor Drosten of Charité Berlin, inven­tor of the first COVID-19 test and prin­ci­pal COVID-19 advi­sor to Mrs. Merkel. We received the same answer that high­ly reput­ed US pul­mo­nolo­gist Bruce L. Davidson MD, whom we had cit­ed exten­sive­ly in our arti­cle, per­son­al­ly told us he received from Professor Drosten: none.

The stark irony, bet­ter: illog­ic of the mat­ter is that Professor Drosten just very recent­ly admon­ished col­leagues, doc­tors and pro­fes­sors, in the med­ical com­mu­ni­ty for exceed­ing their area of com­pe­tence when weigh­ing in on COVID-19. While him­self acknowl­edg­ing that, being entire­ly focused on the virol­o­gy of coro­n­avirus­es, he has lim­it­ed to no clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence and, as we may con­fi­dent­ly hypoth­e­size, is there­fore not as accus­tomed to think­ing in the same sys­temic way about the human organ­ism as, for exam­ple, we are. And we ask our­selves where the log­ic resides when he, in his most recent pod­cast, goes to great lengths to dis­cuss eco­nom­ic impli­ca­tions of reopen­ing the econ­o­my rather soon­er or rather lat­er, with­out any appar­ent per­ti­nent exper­tise.

We can­not stress enough, on the oth­er hand, that with­out Professor Drosten’s pio­neer­ing work in his col­lab­o­ra­tive Munich study, we would not have arrived at for­mu­lat­ing our pro­pos­al, at least not this ear­ly.

Observing in our own local neigh­bor­hood, par­tic­u­lar­ly in our local super­mar­ket, how the offi­cial­ly pre­scribed mea­sures against COVID-19 are being observed, we must observe that these mea­sures can­not pos­si­bly be very effec­tive. Except for the own­er of the super­mar­ket (who, by the way, told us he is per­son­al­ly doing exact­ly what we have pro­posed), all employ­ees wear their face masks under their chins at all times (at least that we see them), appar­ent­ly because it is high­ly uncom­fort­able to car­ry and breathe through a mask dur­ing an entire shift.

The sim­ple and prac­ti­cal way to tack­le COVID-19 appears, thus, to still be the old-fash­ioned way that “sim­ply makes sense” (as a senior sci­en­tist with NASA has writ­ten to us pri­vate­ly).

_____
  1. https://loico.com/the-logic-of-surviving-the-coronavirus-pandemic/[]
  2. https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/2393858-scientists-call-for-urgent-research-on-potential-for-mouthwash-to-reduce-sars-cov-2-transmission[]
  3. https://academic.oup.com/function/advance-article/doi/10.1093/function/zqaa002/5836301[]
  4. https://loico.com/additional-thoughts-regarding-benefit-throat-disinfection-covid-19-like-epidemics/[]
  5. https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1324/rr-5[]
  6. https://www.ilgiornale.it/news/cronache/coronavirus-metodo-che-evita-strage-nessun-paziente-morto-1861189.html[]
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on vk
Share on linkedin
Share on xing
Share on google
Share on email
Share on print
After it has come to light that “Black Lives Matter” is a marxist – and blatantly racist – organization that could not care less about equal opportunity but that, according to rally signs exhibited by “activists”, simply wants to “kill” or “eat the rich”, now the climate change scare appears to be crumbling to pieces as well: It appears we now have the Edward Snowden of climate change alarmism.

Leave a comment / join the discussion

After it has come to light that “Black Lives Matter” is a marxist – and blatantly racist – organization that could not care less about equal opportunity but that, according to rally signs exhibited by “activists”, simply wants to “kill” or “eat the rich”, now the climate change scare appears to be crumbling to pieces as well: It appears we now have the Edward Snowden of climate change alarmism.