A CHEMICAL found in insect repellent kills the virus that causes Covid, a study by Britain’s defence laboratory shows.
Citriodiol, derived from lemon eucalyptus, is found in Mosi-guard Natural, which costs about £7 for a 75ml bottle.
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But the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory said more tests were needed to pinpoint the ideal concentration.
Troops were issued with the spray as it was known to kill other corona-viruses. It is not sufficient protection alone and is used with face masks and hand-washing.
In some experiments it killed the bug completely. Citriodiol is found in Mosi-guard Natural, which costs around £7 for a 75ml bottle.
But the scientists warn: “We have no data relating the concentration applied experimentally to the latex to that resulting from a spray and rub application of Mosi-guard on human skin.”
The DSTL has published its initial findings to help others conduct further research. Britain’s armed forces were issued with the spray earlier this year because it was already known to kill other coronaviruses.
The spray is not sufficient protection on its own and is used by the military along with face masks and regular hand washing. Defence minister Jeremy Quin said: “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.
“Defence has played a wide variety of roles in supporting efforts to tackle coronavirus.
“We are pleased that this is another example of Defence sourcing innovative ways to keep people safe.” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace previously said it was given to military personnel as an “additional layer of protection”.
Experts had said it was worth a shot because it would “do no harm”.
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