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No evidence saline gargle will kill novel coronavirus, says DOH

Saline gargles or gargling with water and salt will provide no protection against or cure for the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), 

A tip to gargle with salt water to prevent infection with the nCoV has been circulating online.

“I don’t think there is any evidence that it will kill a virus,” DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a press conference.

Domingo said gargling with water and salt might help with sore throat.

“I think this is a home remedy that has been followed for many, many generations and I don’t think there’s going to be any harm in doing it. Saline gargle has always been advocated to improve mostly symptoms of sore throat,” Domingo said.

An expert on infectious diseases said that simple oral hygiene could help lower the chances of being a carrier of different viruses amid the threat of the 2019 new coronavirus.

"Maging part na po ng oral hygiene ang pagmumumog po ng maligamgam na tubig na may asin—may coronavirus scare man o wala," Dr. Rey Salinel said in an interview on Unang Hirit.

"Marami pong namamatay na bacteria at viruses sa high-salt concentration."

Salinel said that a pinch of salt and a glass of lukewarm water will make an effective gargling solution.

He also advised the public to exercise frequent hand-washing or sanitizing with alcohol-based products to kill viruses.

"Huwag ninyo pong hawakan ang mga mata ninyo, ilong ninyo, bibig ninyo kasi 'yan po ang portal of entry. Napaka-importante pong malinis ang kamay," Salinel said. —NB, GMA News