Povidone iodine as a low cost therapeutic against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its potential for refugee health

This review summarizes one approach to support the health needs of refugee and displaced
asylum seeker migrant populations during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Refugees are
the leading abandoned group during pandemic crises and their health needs are always
at greater risk. Living conditions are unsettled and there is often limited access to health
facilities and to necessary infection control measures to control viral spread. Therefore,
access to and provision of economical, safe, and effective antiseptic options must be
addressed for better community health and for the reduction of viral transmission. Recent
research on povidone-iodine, PVP-I supports its use as a potent, topical virucidal antiseptic
against SARS-CoV-2 at the 99% level. This paper summarizes the evidence from both
in vitro and in vivo research. Generalizing across the studies shows that PVP-1 used as a
mouth wash, oral rinse, or a gargle can reduce viral load. Because of its cost-effectiveness
and high virucidal activity, PVP-I can be used as an effective self-care antiseptic in the
refugee population.

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