Strange medical questions that emerged from the COVID pandemic

COVID-19 is a new and constantly changing virus, which makes researching it extremely difficult. To solve a problem without a known answer, researchers have to ask some pretty strange questions. Like, what if mouthwash could fight COVID?

These questions piled up quickly and some of them have incredibly interesting answers.

Can mouthwash fight COVID?

As COVID-19 enters the body through the oral cavity via aerosols, some researchers were struck with a bit of inspiration: Could mouthwash fight the virus? Certain mouthwash solutions have antiviral properties, so it’s not that hard.

The study Results showed promise, showing that mouthwash can lower transmission rate, especially in clinical settings such as dental work. It’s important to remember that these were in vitro studies, so additional research is needed to confirm the true uses of mouthwash.

man pouring mouthwash into the cap Jae Young Ju / Getty Images

Does COVID stink?

One of the main symptoms of COVID-19 is a loss of smell, which some experts attribute to the virus entering the body through the smell-sensitive cells in the nose. However, some people experience a much weirder symptom: distorted feeling of smelland smell odors that aren’t really there.

This condition, parosmia, appears long after the other symptoms have gone away. Most people smell sewage, but others smell rotten meat or eggs, as well as moldy socks.

man covering his nose because of bad smell Andrey Popov / Getty Images

Does Eating Breakfast Prevent COVID?

The search for a widely available and effective COVID treatment has yielded a number of interesting areas of research, including testing the effect of common vitamins and minerals on COVID-19.

A significant amount of of evidence supports links between COVID and nutritional deficiencies in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and others. Taking more of these nutrients to correct these deficiencies may help limit the effects of COVID-19, although more research is needed.

Therapies that use and target these nutrients may be used as adjunctive therapies in the future. Taking in more of these nutrients could help limit the effects of COVID-19, but probably not in a statistically significant way. However, therapies that use and target these nutrients may be effective treatment options after further research.

woman having breakfast Westend61 / Getty Images

Does COVID Cause Muscle Growth?

Among the list of new symptoms that the COVID variants introduced was a unique one that made headlines late 2021. In some critically ill patients, the muscles grew instead of shrinking. Type I muscle fibers that support endurance activities grew by more than 60%, while the fast, vigorous exercise-support type II fibers increased by 30% in some study participants.

Researchers aren’t sure why this happened, but unfortunately their theories don’t support actual muscle development. They think it’s due to fluid building up in the fibers and causing swelling. If so, it can cause serious muscle damage in the long run.

father and son show biceps fizkes / Getty Images

What are COVID toes?

The sentence “COVID toes” is one of the more literal and unusual terms emerging during this pandemic. Many people develop rashes, skin discoloration, and swelling of their toes and fingers. Some also experience blisters, pain, and buildup of pus.

While mild cases of COVID toes go away on their own, some require topical steroids and other treatments to manage symptoms.

doctor checks toes Andrey Popov / Getty Images

Can Blood Sugar Tests Find COVID?

During the height of the pandemic, the shortage of COVID-19 testing left researchers looking for other options. Experts from Johns Hopkins University, as well as a few other sites, tried to solve the problem with something millions of people with diabetes use every day: a glucose to monitor

By using the monitors to find a reaction between glucose and COVID-19 antibodies, the researchers were able to quickly and accurately test for COVID.

    close-up of a young woman's hand showing a reader after scanning the sensor of the glucose monitoring system next to the sensor on her arm Click_and_Photo / Getty Images

Can CBD Help Manage COVID?

Recently, a study Results spread like wildfire after claiming that the raw, natural form of cannabidiol, CBDA, inhibited COVID’s ability to reproduce and spread. This compound is readily available from legal hemp and is already present in some cannabidiol products.

Here’s the catch: The study used computer models rather than testing live animals or humans. Are the results promising? Yes. Are they a reason to skip other preventative measures in favor of CBD? New.

CBD hemp oil, Hand with bottle of cannabis oil in pipette Tinnakorn Jorruang / Getty Images

Can the aging disease help with COVID?

What if medical experts could use a rare genetic condition to fight viruses like Sars-Cov-2? Progeria is a deadly condition that causes premature aging. An enzyme linked to this aging disorder also plays a role in the immune response to viruses.

Experts who have studied this enzyme For the past decade, they think it could potentially prevent viruses like COVID from entering a host cell — essentially, they’re researching how to use one deadly disease to fight another without the side effects of either one.

Conceptual photo with printed text Progeria

Can Commonly Used Sleep Medications Prevent COVID Infection?

Millions of people around the world take melatonin every night to help them sleep. By doing so, they can also protect themselves from COVID-19 and increase the effectiveness of COVID treatments. Models show that melatonin limits inflammation and oxidation due to viral infections. Plus, recently Research indicates that COVID rates are lower among populations that regularly take melatonin supplements.

Woman sleeps in her bed at night, glass on water and pills in the foreground demaerre / Getty Images

Can Cholesterol Drugs Fight COVID?

Many research groups around the world are testing different drugs to see if they can reuse them to fight COVID-19. one of the most promising contenders is a class of drugs that millions of people already use: statins.

These drugs lower blood cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and prevent blood clots. Severe COVID-19 infections usually have more serious cardiac effects, such as blood clotting, so statins can improve COVID-19 outcomes.

Hands of man holding pill bottle with pills on hand overview205 / Getty Images
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