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A new, promising study hopes to show the prevention of COVID-19 could one day come down to using a lot of antiseptic in your nose and mouth. 

University of Wisconsin Health Medical Director of Infection Control Dr. Nasia Safdar said the trial — open to all Wisconsin healthcare workers — uses two common antiseptics for swabbing the nose (Povidone-iodine) and rinsing the mouth (Chlorhexidine).  

“Together, these two products will coat the nose and mouth and even if one would say has exposure to somebody with COVID-19, the virus would die upon contact with these to antiseptics, and not able to gain entry into the body,” Dr. Safdar said.

The trial is now enrolling up to 500 participants. For a six week period, participants will swab their nose twice a day and rinse four times a day.

“They have to do this four times a day,I mean in order to have this intervention the best chance of working,” Safdar said. “I think the four times a day is important because anytime you eat or drink, the antiseptic will be lost in the mouth. And so you want to be there most of the time, which is why the four times a day, recommendation is there.” 

The study hopes to have findings out by early to mid-fall.  

“This has enormous potential, not just for healthcare workers but any setting where people are getting together, such as schools for instance, nursing homes and other settings,” Dr. Safdar said. “So in order to do that, we first have to show and answer the question, does it work. And to do that, we need to do this trial as quickly as possible,” she continues.

As the top infectious disease doctor holds hope this simple intervention will work.

“I think we’re excited about the potential. You know the fact that it works in the lab and it means that there is a chance that it works in humans,” she said.