The UK's Ministry of Defence recently published a study that researched the potential use of a mosquito repellent against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Several articles have cited the study and concluded that an ingredient called Citriodiol will kill the virus.
This is not entirely true. Before you make a run to the store to buy all the repellents you can find, read on...
What is Citriodiol?
Mosquito repellent is meant to prevent mosquitoes from biting us. There are many repellent ingredients on the market that are EPA-registered and CDC-recommended. These include DEET, picaridin, and IR3535.
Citriodiol is another ingredient that's labeled on bottles as as p-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD. In the United States, citriodiol is commonly labeled as oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Does the last one sound familiar? It should. The CDC recommends oil of lemon eucalyptus as an effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Does Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus really protect against COVID-19?
Here is what you need to know about articles hailing citriodiol as the solution to COVID-19:
- The study shows that citriodiol does have anti-viral properties, however, the virus was still detected on the treated surface after four hours.
- The study used a latex "skin," which is not representative of human skin. There is no data on how effective citriodiol will be against the virus on our skin.
- At the time of this blog post, the study is not peer-reviewed and still needs more studies to confirm its findings.
What can I do with citriodiol or oil of lemon eucalyptus?
It's clear that oil of lemon eucalyptus is still an effective defense against mosquito bites. What's also clear are the warnings to use repellent correctly.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus must be used according to the label instructions and SHOULD NOT be used on children under the age of three.
Still looking for ways to stay bite-free?
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