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Your Healthy Family: Could a nasal spray make you less likely to get severe COVID-19?

Posted at 6:52 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 10:54:44-04

Could using a nasal spray make you less likely to get severe COVID-19? A new study by the Cleveland Clinic shows that may be true.

Researchers said the study found patients who regularly use steroid nasal sprays are less likely to have a severe case of COVID-19. It also reduced their risk for hospitalization, ICU admission, and death. But one of the lead authors on the study said this doesn't mean you should rush to get your hands on this type of spray.

"It does not mean that people should use it to treat COVID-19 or to prevent COVID-19. You need a randomized control trial to do that, and an approval by the FDA. So until then, that is not indicated to treat COVID-19,” Dr. Joe Zein, a Pulmonologist for Cleveland Clinic, said.

He said they analyzed data from more than 72,000 people within the Cleveland Clinic Health System from April of 2020 to March of 2021. He said the researchers found patients who used intra-nasal corticosteroids before getting sick with COVID-19, were 22 percent less likely to be hospitalized, 23 percent less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and 24 percent less likely to die from the virus.

Dr. Zein said they're still trying to understand why the nasal spray helps reduce the severity of COVID-19. He said the nose is the main point-of-entry for the virus, and it seems the spray decreases the ACE-2 receptors in the nose, making it harder for the virus to enter cells and spread.

Dr. Zein also said because the virus typically infects people through their noses, it's important to wear your mask the right way.

"Most frequently, you see people having a mask like this, and the nose is not covered. The nose is the most important part, and they should cover it. So you always have to have the mask like this, otherwise there is no point of using a mask," he said.