New nasal spray could offer 8-hour protection from all COVID-19 variants 

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

An experimental new nasal spray could offer protection from the COVID-19 virus for up to eight hours, according to researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland. A preliminary study found that cells in mice treated with the innovative prophylactic were temporarily blocked from infection from the virus. 

The spray was developed by scientists for use by immunocompromised individuals and others with high-risk factors known to increase symptom severity of COVID-19 infections. Created from a synthetic protein with antibody properties that identify and bind the spike protein of the coronavirus, the spray was found to block infection for “at least eight hours, even in cases of high exposure risk.” The promising treatment is also inexpensive, requires only a small dose, and is effective immediately after administration. 

“This technology is cheap and highly manufacturable, and the inhibitor works equally well against all variants,” including Omicron, study author Kalle Saksela told Gizmodo.

“It works also against the now-extinct SARS virus, so it might well also serve as an emergency measure against possible new coronaviruses” she said.

Researchers also found that treated mice were far less likely to experience upper-respiratory issues following exposure to the Beta variant of COVID-19 than untreated subjects.

Saksela cautions that the treatment is not designed to replace vaccines or viral medications used in treating coronavirus infections.

“Its prophylactic use is meant to protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” she said. “However, it is not a vaccine, nor meant to be an alternative for vaccines, but rather to complement vaccination for providing additional protection.”

Scientists say more research is needed – the spray hasn’t been tested on humans and the study has yet to undergo peer review – but that preliminary signs are encouraging.

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