Israeli Nasal Spray Reduced Infections During Rosh Hashana Tefillos In Bnei Brak

Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox Jews during morning prayer in a synagogue during a nationwide three-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak, Sept 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

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An Israeli-made nasal spray reduced the coronavirus infection rate among Chareidi members of a Bnei Brak shul during the Rosh Hashanah tefillos in September 2020, a preliminary study showed.

The Israeli Nasus Pharma developed Taffix nasal spray, which creates a protective gel layer over nasal passages and blocks viruses from infecting nasal cells. Researchers approached the members of a 250-member shul in Bnei Brak ahead of Rosh Hashanah and interested some of them in taking part in a trial for the spray.

Each shul member was eligible to pick up a bottle of Tafix at the shul on the day before Rosh Hashanah with written instructions to use the spray every five hours whenever leaving their homes for the next two weeks.

At the end of the two-week trial, 81 out of 83 shul members, or 2.4%, who used the spray did not contract the virus, with the two who did contract the virus using the spray only occasionally. In contrast, 10% of the non-user shul members were infected with the coronavirus.

“These important results conform with prior in vitro studies performed with Taffix™ that proved its robust activity against the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 ,” Nasus Pharma CEO Dr. Dalia Megiddo stated in October.

“This is the first clinical real-life data showing that the use of Taffix is highly effective even in the worst-case scenario of a super spread event in the heart of the worst-hit city in Israel.”

Taffix was previously shown to be 99% effective in blocking viruses in laboratory trials, including COVID-19, from infecting nasal cells.

The study, which was carried out by Nasus Pharma in collaboration with scientists from the University of Haifa, the University of Virginia, and the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, was first published in November 2020, with an updated version published last month.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)