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New antivirus spray used to protect staff at Shanghai hospital

SHANGHAI: A new broad-spectrum antivirus spray has been put into use at the emergency wards of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, protecting medical staff from the new coronavirus.

Medical employees use the antivirus spray before entering the quarantine area.

They spray the medicine into their mouth and let it access their respiratory tract, providing bioactive protection against infection. It is used alongside the biohazard suit and mask.

The new medicine was developed by a group of scientists of the emerging and recurring epidemic research institute at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, a hospital.

Head of the institute, Professor Xu Jianqing, said his team spent more than six years developing the new drug for the treatment of infectious diseases in the respiratory tract.

The drug has proven effective on animal models, reached the criterion for clinical use, and passed the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standard.

The drug has proven effective against the new coronavirus, Prof Xu told The Paper, a Shanghai-based news portal.

The spray has played a positive role in the treatment of early-stage infections, he said.

However, the new medicine has not yet acquired the licence for market approval, so it cannot be legitimately used for the clinical treatment of patients. It is now used on only medical staff at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre.

INGREDIENTS

The new spray contains two active ingredients, Prof Xu said. One restrains the duplication of the virus and the other controls the process of the virus causing illness in people. The virus made people sick by causing inflammation, he explained. The active ingredients can suppress the inflammation and repair the respiratory tract mucosa.

Also, because the new medicine has not acquired the licence for production, it cannot be mass-produced in a short period, Prof Xu added. - THE CHINA DAILY/ANN

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