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One of the world’s most widely used drugs could block COVID-19

Article image for One of the world’s most widely used drugs could block COVID-19

A group of Melbourne researchers have turned one of the world’s most commonly used drugs into a nasal spray which could block COVID-19.

Researchers found heparin, a blood thinner which has been in use for more than 100 years, could stop the virus spreading and even treat the illness.

The brother of 3AW’s own Ross Stevenson is part of the team involved in the research.

Physician and director of the Staying Well program at Northern Health, Professor Don Campbell, has been using the spray since July.

“We’re very keen to test the use of this nasal spray as an adjunct to the vaccine strategy,” he told Ross and Russel.

“The science really is starting to emerge that the way the virus attached to the human being is in cell surface receptors in the nasal epithelium.

“We think it’s got potential at an adjunct to outbreak containment, so metaphorically throwing a heparin blanket over the outbreak.”

Researchers hope the nasal spray could be used to protect students and fruit pickers coming into Australia, in quarantine facilities, and in protecting vulnerable health and aged care workers.

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