Can an inexpensive and easy to administer at-home treatment treat the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2? According to Dr. Thomas Levy, the answer is yes. The remedy in question is hydrogen peroxide, aerosolized in any standard nebulizer.
Originally conceptualized in the early ’90s by Dr. Charles Farr, hydrogen peroxide treatment can successfully treat most viral respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus. According to Levy:
“While different individuals can be expected to have variable degrees of positive response, this intervention can be anticipated to eliminate eventual fatal disease outcomes in all but the most advanced cases.”
It’s worth keeping in mind that while the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications and death, the overall mortality rate of COVID-19 appears to be quite low, and very similar to influenza.
A compilation of reported mortality statistics from around the world can be found in the paper,”Likelihood of Survival of Coronavirus Disease 2019,” published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, March 30, 2020. For the latest up to the minute COVID-19 stats, see the “Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering” page.
That said, considering the fact that scientists still do not know whether COVID-19 patients gain lifelong immunity to the virus, or whether it will act more like cold and flu viruses where each season presents a new opportunity for infection, having an inexpensive and simple way to treat yourself at first signs of symptoms may be a priority for many.
The most relevant study was one that was done earlier this year in the Journal of Hospital Infection. They studies 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, six times weaker than the 3% typically used, and found that it killed human corona viruses and SARS corona viruses and MERS.
Studies have also looked into the use of hydrogen peroxide against a variety of pathogens, including a 1994 study in Poultry Science, which found a microaerosolized mist of 5% hydrogen peroxide “completely inactivated infectious laryngotracheitis virus.”
Exposure to the mist also reduced infectivity of Newcastle disease virus, infectious bronchitis virus and avian influenza virus, but did not completely inactivate them. Use of 10% hydrogen peroxide mist was necessary to render infectious bursal disease virus completely inactive.
Another study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control in 2009, assessed the efficacy of vaporized hydrogen peroxide against viruses on various surfaces, finding exposure to hydrogen peroxide vapor at a concentration of 10 parts per million resulted in 99% inactivation after 2.5 minutes.
Similarly, a 2014 study in the Journal of Hospital Infection found hydrogen peroxide vapor eliminated an array of viruses on stainless steel, including human adenovirus 1, transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus of pigs (TGEV, a SARS-CoV surrogate), avian influenza virus and swine influenza virus.
According to the authors, “Hydrogen peroxide vapor was virucidal against feline calicivirus, adenovirus, TGEV and avian influenza virus at the lowest vaporized volume tested (25 mL).” Vaporized hydrogen peroxide was found to completely inactivate a range of exotic animal viruses in a 1997 study as well.
Hydrogen peroxide’s ability to inactivate dangerous infectious viruses has also been highlighted in vaccine science. As noted in a 2016 study in the Vaccine journal, 3% hydrogen peroxide completely and irreversibly inactivated the rabies virus within two hours, thus reducing time and cost of the inactivation process required for the making of a rabies vaccine (which contains inactivated rabies virus).