What is Citriodiol and can it protect us from coronavirus?

29 April 2020, 11:24

Citriodiol is found in insect repellents
Citriodiol is found in insect repellents and is believed to protect from Covid-19 too. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

Mosi-guard and Citriodiol have been linked to protecting us against Covid-19 - but what is it? Does it really work? And can you buy it from Boots?

It has been announced that Citriodiol, the active ingredient found in insect repellent like Mosi-Guard, is being tested by Britain's defence laboratory for whether it can kill the strain of coronavirus found in Covid-19.

British troops are already being given the insect repellent to test the effectiveness against the virus.

Citriodiol has already been shown to protect against other forms of coronavirus. But can it protect against Covid-19? What is Citriodiol? And where can you buy it?

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Citriodiol is already being tested on the British army
Citriodiol is already being tested on the British army for Covid-19. Picture: Getty

What is Citriodiol?

Citridiol is the active ingredient usually found in insect repellents.

It is made using oil from the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus citriodora tree, which is found in Asia, South America and Africa.

Citridiol is used in the repelling ingredient in the insect spray Mosi-Guard.

It is understood that only insect repellents containing citriodiol and not containing deet may have the potential to protect against the novel coronavirus.

The product dissolves over time, and is usually used to add a layer of protection to skin to prevent insect bites.

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Citriodiol is already known to protect against some forms of Covid-19
Citriodiol is already known to protect against some forms of Covid-19. Picture: PA

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Does Citriodiol prevent coronavirus?

Citridiol is known to have anti-viral properties, and has previously worked to prevent SARS 1, the strain of coronavirus that cause the 2003 epidemic.

Research is still being conducted into whether it can prevent the specific strain behind the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Further work is required to determine its full effectiveness, acquisition and distribution," the Ministry of Defence has said.

The company that makes Citriodiol is calling on the government to formally test the product after claiming it could offer better protection against coronavirus.

Jacqueline Watson, managing director of Citrefine International Ltd, said: "What we can say is that we do feel there is a very good chance it could work against this virus but it does of course need to be thoroughly tested."

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Where can I buy Citriodiol?

Mosi-guard containing Citridiol is not stocked at either Boots or Superdrug.

However, it can be purchased on the Mosi-Guard website and Amazon.