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Researchers Develop Chewing Gum To Trap And Neutralize COVID-19

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Slowing the spread of COVID-19, one chew at a time.

"We are pretty excited to get this to the finish line," said Henry Daniell, a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Researchers at the university have created a chewing gum laced with a plant-grown protein found in lettuce, capable of "trapping" and neutralizing the virus.

"Only when we put this viral trap protein it works," said Daniell. "We are able to completely abolish the virus 95%."

Scientists say the specially treated gum can lower the viral load in saliva, so an infected person is less likely to transmit COVID to someone else.

"The protein in the gum blocks the entry of the virus into the human cells," said Daniell.

Since this virus spreads through saliva droplets, scientists say chewing this gum could potentially be a cheap way to battle this pandemic.

While health experts still agree vaccinations are the best way to fight COVID, vaccinated people can still spread this virus.

University of Pennsylvania researchers are now preparing to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The gum hasn't been tested on humans yet, but the same protein has been used to treat heart disease and hypertension.

As for the taste, it's just like any other cinnamon gum.

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