PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) – A nasal spray could one day help stop COVID-19 from infecting and spreading, according to a study by researchers from both Stanford and UCSF.  

In the future, these researchers say when a person thinks they were exposed to a respiratory virus, they will be able to stop it in its tracks with just a spray. Professor Peter Jackson is an immunologist and microbiologist at Stanford who has been studying the entry and exit points of COVID since the pandemic began. 

“By studying how the COVID-19 virus gets into the airway and expands, we were able to find a key molecule that we could use to target and block that propagation that would stop the virus from not only getting into your body and having bad consequences, like mortality that people see, but would also block the spread of the virus to other people,” he said.  

The spray would be used after someone believes they came into contact with an infected person to help prevent the virus from growing into something serious in the body, while also helping to slow the spread to others. 

“If you were out somewhere crowded, if you knew some people had fevers, if you knew some people said, ‘I think I’m infected,’ if somebody had a high temperature and you really were seriously scared that you would get the virus, then that would be an appropriate time to use it,” Jackson said. 

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That’s because Professor Jackson explains his research found it takes up to 48 hours for a virus like COVID to replicate and wreak havoc on the body, providing a window of opportunity to block that process.

Professor Jackson says the idea is not to use this every day, just when you’re more certain you may have been exposed.  And he suggests the nasal spray could be made within a year.