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Mosquito repellent tested on soldiers is effective at providing protection against coronavirus, preliminary research shows


A British Army platoon on the attack at West Tofts Camp in Norfolk, England, while participating in Exercise Dynamic Victory.

Joe Giddens/Zuma Press

A mosquito repellent that contains Citriodiol, which was sprayed on soldiers in April, has been shown to provide protection against COVID-19, according to a preliminary military report published in the U.K. last night.

The eight-page paper produced by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in the U.K. explained Mosi-guard, a Citriodiol-based spray, was tested on both plastic and artificial skin.

The research showed: “There was evidence that the Mosi-guard Natural® treatment on latex synthetic skin affected the survival of the virus over a four-hour period.” But it was unclear whether the spray was any more effective than hand washing and mask wearing.

The scientists said the experimental work hasn’t been externally peer-reviewed. They didn’t disclose how many soldiers were part of the experiment. The military scientists are sharing their preliminary findings in the hope that further research will be carried out.

Citriodiol has been effective in killing previous forms of coronavirus.

Read: Coronavirus update: Maker of Lysol and Dettol disinfectants warns against injecting it

U.K. Defense Minister Jeremy Quin was more cavalier about the research, and was reported as saying: “Dstl’s latest research shows that sprays containing Citriodiol, which have been made available to MOD units engaged in the COVID response, can kill the virus.

“We are sharing our preliminary findings today so others can take forward additional research to confirm and expand on our findings.”

Read: Does sunshine kill coronavirus? Will antibiotics help? These are the most widely shared misconceptions about COVID-19

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is based at Porton Down in Salisbury, in southern England, and is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence dedicated to science and technology in the defense and security field.

It supplies specialist services to the ministry and wider government, and is run along commercial lines.

Details of the research were first reported by Sky News.

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