A study published in has shown that mice can be rendered immune to influenza A by inhaling low levels of ethanol vapour. This is without any side effects. Journal of Infectious Diseases, led scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Scientists think it can also treat viruses that are similar, like the virus that causes COVID-19.
Tsumoru Shimtake, the leader of the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit in OIST, was the first to propose the idea of using the ethanol vapor as a treatment for respiratory tract infections. He tested the method with Hiroki, the leader of OIST’s Immune Signal Unit, and his team.
“Ethanol is an effective disinfectant for body surfaces, so we wanted to know whether ethanol could also be effective inside the body,” says Dr Miho Tamai, a scientist in Ishikawa’s lab, in a release.
They found that mice infected by influenza A were able to inhale the vapor of ethanol for 10 minutes.