People with COVID-19 who gargle salty water massively reduce their chances of being hospitalized, according to a new study.
American researchers found that people who gargled with low or high doses of salt in warm water for a fortnight after testing positive for COVID-19 were up to three times less likely to end up in hospital than those who didn’t.
With the virus and its effects on health moving into a fourth year, the research team said those who become infected may be searching for remedies to improve their respiratory symptoms – and keep them out of the hospital.
The research involving 58 people with COVID-19 determined that both a low- and high-dose saline regimen appeared to be associated with lower hospitalization rates.
Study lead author Dr. Sebastian Espinoza said: “Between 2020 and 2022, individuals aged 18 to 65 with positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 infection were randomly selected to undergo low- or high-dose saline regimens for 14 days.
“The low- and high-saline solutions consisted of 2.13 grams and six grams of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water, respectively.
“Gargling and nasal rinsing was done four times a day for 14 days.
“Primary outcomes included frequency and duration of symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection; secondary outcomes included hospital or ICU admission, mechanical ventilatory support, or death.
“Exclusion criteria were chronic hypertension or participation in another interventional study.
“Those on the low- and high-dose saline solutions, as well as those in the reference population, had similar rates of vaccination.”
He said there were no significant differences in the primary or secondary outcomes of the study between the high and low salt groups.
During the study period, more than 9,300 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 were evaluated and were the reference population.
Dr. Espinoza said the hospitalization rates in the low- (18.5 percent) and high- (21.4 percent) saline regimens were “significantly lower” than in the reference population (58.8 percent).
No significant differences were noted in other outcomes.
Dr Espinoza said: “Our goal was to examine saline nasal irrigation and gargling for possible association to improved respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus infection.
“We found that both saline regimens appear to be associated with lower hospitalization rates compared to controls in SARS-CoV-2 infections.”
He added: “We hope more studies can be done to further investigate the association.”
The findings are due to be presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) annual scientific meeting in Anaheim, California.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker