No evidence that Hydrogen Peroxide prevents COVID-19 – Immunologist

Immunologist Dr Yaw Bediako has dismissed claims by a former Provost of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana, Rev. Emeritus Prof. Andrews Seth Ayettey, that hydrogen peroxide works in the prevention of coronavirus.

Dr Bediako told Abena Tabi on TV3’s Key Point Saturday February 6 that there was no scientific research done on this matter.

He said “Prof has to be very clear on this. There is no evidence to me that hydrogen peroxide prevents COVID-19”

He added “Recommendations have been made for specific usage so yes, hydrogen peroxide being used as disinfectant to disinfect facemasks, disinfect surfaces is high appropriate.

“It is a very different thing to now say that hydrogen peroxide has the ability to protect from covid-19. The idea that I am going to protect myself from contracting COVID-19 with hydrogen peroxide in my view, there is no evidence for it.

“The GMA’s point is that we must refrain from recommendations until we have sufficient evidence because this is a pandemic and people are desperately looking for solutions and so any statement made by senior medical persons like Prof Aryettey and his team, is going to be taken as a fact.”

He added “But this is anecdotal and that has to be made clear. Prof Ayettey and his team’s report is not an observational study, it is anecdotal evidence.”

Meanwhile the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Asiedu Bekoe, has said that the GHS is not against claims by Prof. Ayettey that hydrogen peroxide works in the prevention of coronavirus.

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Rather, he said, the GHS requires additional evidence to that effect before it accepts the claim.

“We are not against it per se, what we are saying is that we need more evidence to that effect,” he told Abena.

Prof Ayettey has insisted that there is concrete evidence that Hydrogen Peroxide works in the prevention of coronavirus, has insisted.

He also told Abena Tabi on the same show that he is prepared to share documents to the effect with the GHS and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

His comments come after the GMA has cautioned the general public against the use of hydrogen peroxide for the prevention of COVID-19.

The GMA in a statement on Thursday February 4 said Hydrogen Peroxide has not been approved for the prevention and treatment of Coronavirus.

Prof Ayettey had earlier recommended Hydrogen peroxide use as an immediate protection against the virus.

He said “In our on-going observational studies, we have become even more convinced about the efficacy of this solution, realizing that eight frontline nurses in the COVID-19 management team at a District Hospital using hydrogen peroxide had not contracted the disease and had tested negative since May 2020. In comparison, 62 of their colleagues not using peroxide had contracted the disease by end of December 2020. In a Google survey to determine hydrogen peroxide use we noted that, even though the number of respondents was few, none using hydrogen peroxide had had COVID-19 or had tested positive for the virus. Also, none of those we know using hydrogen peroxide has been diagnosed with the disease.

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“Recently, a friend who was not using hydrogen peroxide had COVID-19. His wife, three elderly children, and mother-in-law who had been with him for 5 days and who all tested positive for the virus were encouraged to use hydrogen peroxide for mouth washing, throat gargling and nose cleansing, in addition to their prescribed medications of vitamin C, Ivermectin and Zinc. After two weeks, they all tested negative. None progressed to develop clinical symptoms of the disease.

“We have noted too that prophylactic use of hydrogen peroxide has been recommended by the American Dental Association for Dental practice; the Dental Department at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has adopted this. In Italy, hydrogen peroxide is also the main ingredient for mass disinfestation. Besides, hydrogen peroxide is an important component in hand sanitizers recommended by the WHO.”

But in a response, the GMA said “The general public is advised to handle the product as any other medicinal product and that the misuse of same could lead to serious physical and undesirable medical consequences.

“The public is also advised to consult appropriate health professionals (prescribers) before they purchase such products.”

It stressed “Presently, Hydrogen Peroxide has not been approved, authorized or recommended by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) (Ghana), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organization or any other reputable international drug and health regulatory body for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.”

Reacting to the GMA’s statement, Prof Ayettey told Abena Tabi that “We had made great efforts to reach out to the GMA before the statement was issued.

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“We have also made an effort to reach out to Ghana Health Service without success, but what we are saying is that there is solid evidence that  Hydrogen peroxide  works.

“If they care to know,  the American Dental Association, has recommended hydrogen peroxide  use for patients who require dental care before they actually go through the dental treatment procedure. This is because they know that it inactivates the virus. I can share the paper with them if they want to know  that.

“We also know, I can share communications about that with them, that in Italy the mass disinfestation  involved the use of hydrogen  peroxide and this is again based on the science that  hydrogen peroxide can inactivate virus on surfaces.

“We also know that the WHO-prescribed alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain 3% hydrogen peroxide . If Hydrogen Peroxide doesn’t work WHO would not recommend that.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana