A study has very early found that steam inhalation could be an effective treatment for Covid-19 positive patients.
The researchers noted in their study published in the journal Life Sciences that the heat waves of the steam has also been seen to denature the proteins that lead to loss of infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2. The researchers have shown that heat can also denature the SARS-CoV-2 virion's proteins.
Temperatures of 56 °C for 15 and 30 minutes in liquid environments, respectively, were enough to breakdown SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, the researchers noted in their study
The researchers claimed that steam inhalation cycles can be considered to be useful in damaging the capsid of the SARS-CoV-2 envelope and prevent infection.
They further mentioned that the European Pharmacopoeia VI edition has recommended steam inhalations as a procedure to treat respiratory diseases as well.
For the study, the researchers examined 10 Covid-19 positive people and administered humidified steam through inhalation for at least 20 minutes (5 cycles of 4 minutes) within 1 hour for at least 4 consecutive days. Their airway mucosal membranes were exposed to the steam.
The temperature of the steam was maintained at 55 and 65°C in the first 4 to 5 minutes after the initiation of water boiling.
They measured the viral shedding every 24 hours. Three participants dropped out of the intervention-- one due to allergy, one started on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment since day 1, and one manifested more than three symptoms, which were moderate to severe.