Out of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom comes the news that some mouthwashes might kill the coronavirus in saliva.


In laboratory conditions, scientists studied different mouthwashes to see what happened when the virus was exposed to mouthwash.


Mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium chloride or alcohol plus essential oils like mint seemed to reduce the amount of virus in the lab specimens.


Two more studies are being done on patients with the coronavirus.


Before people get excited and grab all the Listerine Advanced, which had some of the best results in that lab study, remember that this is only studying the virus that might be in your mouth, not what is exhaled from your lungs by breathing or coughing or through your nose by breathing or sneezing.


"I am very guarded when I read about these kinds of studies," says Dr. Kristin Mondy, chief of the division of infectious disease and associate professor of the department of internal medicine at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. "While we know that alcohol (and presumably alcohol-based mouthwashes) could kill COVID, we know that the spread is really by respiratory droplets (not saliva). I still think that the best data we have for preventing spread is by using a face mask that covers your nose and mouth (this will prevent spread of any type of respiratory secretion), thorough hand washing and social distancing."


These are also really small studies, and one is in a lab.


"There are a lot of treatments and theories being looked into, but they are all too early to reach any conclusions on," says Dr. Jay Zdunek, chief medical officer at Austin Regional Clinic.


A lot of research is being done in Austin, including both the Pfizer vaccine trial at Austin Regional Clinic and the Moderna vaccine trial at Benchmark Research, and two therapeutics being studied at St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.