Gargling and Nasal Rinses to Reduce Oro- and Nasopharyngeal Viral Load in Patients With COVID-19
Clara Health

Gargling and Nasal Rinses in Patients With COVID-19

Sponsored by NYU Langone Health

COVID-19 has emerged as a worldwide pandemic and there is a strong need for identification of any measures that can be used to treat this illness or reduce its transmission from person to person. Povidone-iodine has been shown to have virucidal properties against multiple viruses including against the virus that causes SARS which is very similar in makeup to the virus causing COVID-19.

The investigators hypothesize that 4x daily use of oral gargles and nasal rinses using a povidone iodine solution will help to reduce the viral load in the nasopharynx and oropharynx in patients who are COVID-19+. If this hypothesis is shown to be true this could potentially have an impact on time to recovery of clinical symptoms as well as reduce shedding of the virus by infected patients.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

How is this study designed?

Study type: Interventional (Clinical Trial) Estimated Enrollment: 48 participants Actual Study Start Date: April 9, 2020 Estimated Study Completion Date: May 9, 2020

Who is this study for?

Inclusion Criteria*:

  • Positive test for COVID-19
  • Age 18-79 years
  • Willing and able to perform oral gargles and nasal rinses four times daily

Exclusion Criteria:*

  • Requiring mechanical ventilation

* Additional criteria apply. Please speak with the study team for further information.

What should I expect?

  • For this study, 48 patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be randomly assigned to four study groups: control, saline, chlorhexidine gluconate, and povidone-iodine.
  • Each patient will be asked to gargle with a solution of either saline, chlorhexidine gluconate, or povidone-iodine or nothing (control group) as well as spray the same solution in their nose four times daily.
  • Patients will then be tested for COVID-19 once daily in the evening for 7 days and viral loads will be measured.

Connect with the study team

Thank you for your interest in advancing COVID-19 treatments.

Please fill out this contact form to be connected to a member of the study team. The following information that you enter will only be authorized to be shared with the research team conducting this specific study.

If you have any difficulties or questions, please contact our support specialists at [email protected]

Have a question?

For general questions about COVID-19 clinical trials, please email [email protected] For study specific inquiries, submit the interest form and you’ll be connected to the study team.