The Mira Research team interviewed Dr. Jesse Pelletier (MD, FACS) for this piece.
Dr. Pelletier is a practicing eye surgeon and Head of Infection Control at two medical institutions in Miami. He is also the President and co-founder of Halodine, a nasal spray product used in the fight against Covid-19.
He has been involved in numerous clinical trials as Principal Investigator and served as a consultant for decades in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Pelletier has spoken extensively on diseases of the ocular surface, epidemiology, ocular microbiology, infectious disease, infection control, and topical antiseptics and has authored more than 35 scientific papers. He is on staff at North Miami Beach Surgery Center, and Memorial Regional Hospital.
How do nasal antiseptics work?
Dr. Pelletier says "Nasal antiseptics sanitize the nose and kill the virus before it can spread and before it can infect oral and nasal cavities.
Think of a person infected with COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms, like a pot of water boiling on a hot stove. The mask is a lid – it has some utility in keeping the water from spilling out but it is not perfect.
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Using Halodine turns down the heat and stops the water from boiling over. Used together, they are very effective in reducing transmission of the virus and in breaking the cycle of transmissivity."
Are Nasal Antiseptics Effective In Preventing COVID-19?
According to Dr. Pelletier, “nasal antiseptics are effective in preventing COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus) infects, replicates, sheds, and gets transmitted from the nose. Nasal antisepsis, particularly like Halodine Nasal Antiseptic, has been shown to have 99.9% inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 within 15 seconds, sanitizes the nose, and inactivates the virus in the nose reducing the potential for spread and infection of nasal cavities.
Nasal antisepsis is an added layer of chemical protection at the site of COVID-19 infection, decreasing the risk of contracting the virus if exposed and inactivating any virus particles in the nose before they can be expelled from the nose.”
Are any nasal antiseptics FDA approved for preventing COVID-19?
“Nasal antiseptics, particularly those based on povidone-iodine, have been used prior to surgery, as part of infection control measures in hospitals, and as part of chronic rhinosinusitis treatment protocols for more than a decade,” says Dr. Pelletier.
"They are sold as over-the-counter (OTC) drug products with FDA labels for their general infection-fighting abilities. They are increasing in popularity now as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increased awareness in infection control and a greater acceptance by the general public of measures that had been traditionally only used in healthcare settings.
None have been specifically evaluated by the FDA for their ability to prevent COVID-19 although some, like Halodine Nasal Antiseptic, have demonstrated 99.9% inactivation of the COVID-19 virus within 15 seconds and their role in the current pandemic is recognized by the scientific community.
Who should use nasal antiseptics to prevent COVID-19?
Dr. Pelletier says everyone can benefit from the added protection afforded by nasal antiseptics.
"Masks, distancing, and isolation are important but not 100% effective and not always possible.
Nasal antiseptics add the opportunity to actually kill the virus particles in the nose before they enter the cells of the respiratory system or are exhaled," explains Dr. Pelletier.