Simple saltwater solution shows potential for mitigating early coronavirus symptoms 

By Emma Williams - World Healthcare Journal

While healthcare institutions around the world are striving to create a vaccine, this simple treatment may offer a quick short-term remedy for those with mild symptoms.

Currently, researchers from the University of Edinburgh are set to begin a new trial building on the discoveries from a pilot study that took place in 2019, reports the London Evening Standard.

The initial experiment revealed how symptoms of the common cold can be reduced through using saltwater for gargling and nasal irrigation.

Participants were split into two groups, one to utilise saltwater and the other to use their preferred treatment for a common cold, with all participants recording their progress in a symptom diary.

Over the two weeks, those who used the solution reported relieved congestion, an increased rate of recovery, and a decrease in the likelihood of coughing and throat irritation.

It was also revealed that they were less contagious and did not feel the need to rely on store bought medication to accompany the treatment in order to recover.

And now, the new study will aim to test whether this simple solution can replicate similar and effective progress in reducing coronavirus symptoms and the risk of infection. Adults with symptoms in Scotland are currently being recruited and will follow government recommended measures for self-isolation whilst taking part in the study.

If the solution proves to be an alleviating remedy, this will provide the general population with a readily available treatment that is more accessible than medicinal drugs such as dexamethasone, the steroid recently announced to relieve more serious coronavirus symptoms.

“It only requires salt, water and some understanding of procedure so should - if found to be effective - be easy and inexpensive to implement widely,” says Professor Aziz Sheikh of the Usher Institute at Edinburgh University.

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