A GOP senator suggested gargling mouthwash to kill the coronavirus. Doctors and Listerine are skeptical
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recommended mouthwash as a treatment for the coronavirus during a town hall meeting Wednesday, immediately drawing criticism for suggesting gargling would offer protection.
Though mouthwash can partially kill off parts of the coronavirus in a person’s mouth, most infections occur through the nose, health experts said. “Even if gargling kills some of the virus, it won’t be able to clean the nasal area, nor the viruses that’s already penetrated deeper into the body,” said Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious-disease expert at Korea University.
A dental-professional-focused website run by Listerine, one of the world’s most widely used mouthwash products, specifically says the evidence is not strong enough to conclude that it is helpful against covid-19.
Listerine “is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label,” the website notes in bold.