Mumbai: Amid trials of various drugs and therapies for treating Covid patients, doctors at the SevenHills Hospital have conducted a study using steam. The study aimed to observe the effect of heat and humidity on the virus. Dr Dilip Pawar, lead investigator of the study said it was an observational study and they have obtained good results. Asymptomatic patients were getting cured within 7 days after use of steam, while symptomatic patients took 7-10 days.
The study was conducted in the month of May and June when corona cases were on rise and many essential drugs were being used in clinical trials. “We first tried administering patients with injection Tocilizumab and nearly 80 percent responded well to it. Following we decided to study about Covid-19 in detail which revealed there are three ways through which SARS-CoV-2 virus can enters human body which includes nose, mouth (oral) and eyes,” said Dr Dilip Pawar, MD, PhD, Honorary Consultant Seven Hills Covid Hospital and lead author of the study and
Steam inhalation is traditionally used as a home remedy for common colds and upper respiratory tract infections. The evidence base of the practice is weak, with unproven theories that the steam loosens mucus, opens nasal passages, and reduces mucosal inflammation, or that the heat inhibits replication of viruses.
Dr Pawar further said that steam has a temperature of about 70 to 80 degrees Celsius which is well above the instability temperature of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Moreover, it is known that viruses get killed at 56 to 60 degrees Celsius. “The study was conducted in two groups which included 105 asymptomatic, mild and moderate patients. The first group comprises healthcare workers who are asymptomatic and another included patients and HCWs who are symptomatic,” he said.
The Group 1 was asked to take steam twice a day for 5 minutes by nasal route with intermittent breathing by oral route, while Group 2 was asked to administer by nasal and oral route every 3 hours for 5 minutes. “None of the patients in Group 1 showed any sign of progression to Covid-19 symptoms after a follow-up ranging from 14 days to 2 months. In group 2 mild symptoms regressed in 3 days to normal and in moderate symptoms it took 7 to 10 days to return to normal,” study revealed.
Dr Pawar said there was a drastic drop in the symptoms of Covid-19 virus after the patients were administered with steam. Moreover, there was no further transmission observed in patients taking steam.
“It was concluded that steam can be permitted as an adjunct to social distancing, sanitizers and masks and PPE for an effective treatment for precaution as well as cure for covid-19 infection. However this is an observational study. It warrants an extended random control trial to see the full effect of steam on a larger group of patients and medical staff,” concluded study.