Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a nasal spray that can prevent COVID-19 for up to two days and say it may be available over the counter by the summer, according to a story in the New York Post.

The spray — developed at the University of Birmingham — prevents infection by capturing the bug while it is still in the nose and covering it in a coating that prevents it from escaping.

Basically... it would be safe for someone to exhale near another person because the virus would be inactive and harmless, according to reports.

Lead researcher Dr. Richard Moakes said he was confident that the spray will be able to put an end to social distancing restrictions.

“We think it will help in schools, as one of the good things about the formulation of the nasal spray is that it would not need to be reformulated for children,” Moakes told The Telegraph.

The spray includes an antiviral agent called carrageenan — currently used in some foods — and a solution called gellan, that sticks to cells in the nose.

Gellan can be sprayed inside the nasal cavity, covering the surface evenly and remaining at the delivery site rather than sliding out of the nose.

“Based on the product, it will be much quicker to get to the user than a novel drug,” Moakes told the Telegraph.

“I am confident that the formulation can make an impact. Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible. We would really like to see this happen by summer.”

The researchers — who have been working on the spray since shortly after the beginning of the pandemic —  are in discussions with shops and pharmaceutical giants on the steps to mass-produce it, The Telegraph reported. It is unclear at this point when if or when it could become available outside of the United Kingdom.

Laboratory experiments showed the spray prevented infection from spreading for up to 48 hours.

The scientists believe using it four times a day would be enough for general protection.
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