New Chewing Gum Might Stop COVID

By Jason Hall

July 27, 2022

Woman Holds Stick of Gum
Photo: Getty Images

Scientists have developed a new chewing gum that may be capable of ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

The treatment, which was developed by a team at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal Molecular Therapy, reportedly contains a plant-grown protein that traps the SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva, which would reduce symptoms and lower the risk of transmitted the virus to others.

“SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the salivary glands, and we know that when someone who is infected sneezes, coughs, or speaks some of that virus can be expelled and reach others,” said Dr. Henry Daniell, Vice-Chair and W.D. Miller Professor at Penn's School of Dental Medicine, who led the study, via Penn Today. “This gum offers an opportunity to neutralize the virus in the saliva, giving us a simple way to possibly cut down on a source of disease transmission.”

Daniell had previously worked on enzyme 2 (ACE2) in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included studying how the protein could reduce viral load in individuals with severe cases of the coronavirus.

Daniell had also previously studied ACE2's capability of treating hypertension prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, growing the protein, as well as others, as a therapeutic solution for the condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued for more than two years even after the introduction of vaccinations and booster shots as individuals who are fully vaccinated are still capable of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2.

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