In the future, it may be possible to use a nasal spray to protect against Covid-19 – and you could help to make it happen!
Research into this possibility is being driven by work here at Swansea University, and volunteers across South Wales are being sought to take part. In order to do so, you must be a key worker, or someone who continues to interact with members outside your household for work, study or volunteering.
Dr Zita Jessop, who is leading the research, said: “We have already recruited
frontline NHS staff and are now opening this study to key workers who have not
previously tested positive for Covid-19 and not yet received their vaccination. This is
a chance to help with potentially ground-breaking research on preventing Covid-19
The nasal spray will have an active ingredient called Carragelose, which contains a form of seaweed. This ingredient is already proven to reduce the duration and severity of cold and flu-like symptoms, and a new laboratory study suggests it could also reduce the risk of an infection with SARS-CoV-2. It acts by trapping virus particles in a gel barrier in the nose, reducing the likelihood of infection and the risk of the virus entering the body.
The clinical trial, known as ICE-COVID, is in collaboration with Swansea Trials Unit and the Joint Clinical Research Facility at Swansea Bay University Health Board, in addition to Swansea University. Professor Ron Eccles, cold and flu expert and former director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, is co-investigator on the research study and has been working with Chief Investigators at Swansea University, Professor Iain Whitaker, surgical specialty lead for Health & Care Research Wales, and Professor Hayley Hutchings, co-director of the Swansea Trials Unit.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Clinical.Research@wales.nhs.uk with your name and contact number.