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The Art and Science of Medicine Required to Face a Novel Threat

Probably the broadest, most practical advancement that has come from our response to the pandemic is not a drug or vaccine from Operation Warp Speed, rather it’s an understanding the SARS-CoV-2 like all upper respiratory tract viral infections starts in the nasopharynx and can be treated topically at the source.[1]

Everyone is familiar with nasal and oral swab testing for COVID-19. It should be obvious the virus is replicating in the nose, and with Omicron, the speed of replication has become much greater than the prior strains of the virus. Thus, there is a wonderful opportunity to reduce viral replication, in fact, kill viruses with agents directly applied in the nasal cavity and the back of the throat.

Use of directly applied therapy is far more effective than swallowing pills or capsules or receiving an intravenous infusion. The nasal mucosa is a barrier for entry and if functioning well, allows little penetration of virions into systemic circulation where for example a monoclonal antibody could work. Thus, the McCullough Protocol© starting in 2021, featured the upfront use of nasal washes and oral gargles using viricidal agents.[2]

Many have asked which solutions, mixtures, and frequencies should be used?

One should be reassured that is far more important to use some form of nasal and oral topical therapy as opposed to letting the infection take its course and ultimately invade the lungs and the internal organs.

For purposes of this stack, we acknowledge that many can be effective including: 

  • povidone-iodine,
  • hydrogen peroxide,
  • colloidal silver,
  • xylitol,

and for the throat many mouthwashes including

  • Scope and
  • Listerine.

Principles are

1) nasal solutions should be comfortable and not sting with sufficient dilution,

2) sniffed far back into the sinuses and then spit out through the mouth (often causes coughing or mild choking), done at least twice per nostril per session,

3) oral gargles should be for 30 seconds and then spit out. For detailed descriptions of products and solutions please visit one of several websites to get this practical information.[3]

Oropharyngeal viricidal therapy has been demonstrated in supportive studies and randomized trials to:

1) prevent infection after suspected exposure (twice daily),

2) reduce the period of infectivity when ill, and

3) attenuate the progression of disease and reduce the need for oxygenation and hospitalization (six times daily).

While our government agencies perseverated on masking, social distancing, lockdowns, and hand sanitizer, they ignored advancements in keeping the nasal passages and throat protected from SARS-CoV-2 with these simple affordable counter-measures.

Early in 2022, GOP Congresswoman Nancy Mace was outraged at the US Department of Health and Human Services for not messaging Americans with educational materials on nasal-oral washes.

These blunders are reprehensible and public health agencies, hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers should review when and how they have incorporated nasal and oral hygiene into their recommendations for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19—chances are many still have not employed teaching materials or formally recommended this to their patients.


[1] Nathan Jones on Nasal Sprays, America Out Loud

[2] Truth for Health Foundation, Nasal Oral Washes for COVID-19

[3] Dr Peter McCullough, Oral Nasal Hygiene for COVID-19 on America Out Loud

By Peter McCullough

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