In the 18 hours prior to 3 p.m. Friday, the NYC Poison Control Center managed nine cases about exposure to Lysol, 10 bleach cases and 11 cases related to other household cleaners, for a total of 30 cases.
That's more than double the cases during the same 18-hour period in 2019, when the center managed two cases pertaining to bleach, with a total of 13 cases regarding a household product and no Lysol products. The data was first reported in the New York Daily News.
None of these exposures resulted in hospitalization or death.
The NYC Health Department took to social media to urge New Yorkers not to ingest disinfectants.
Do NOT ingest or inject Lysol or any other disinfectant as a treatment for #COVID19. Household disinfectants are poisonous and can cause serious harm or even death if swallowed or injected. Call the Poison Control Center for info about safe use of products: 212-764-7667 pic.twitter.com/fbOZds1YxL— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) April 24, 2020
NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot also reiterated the health department's message.
To be clear, disinfectants are not intended for ingestion either by mouth, by ears, by breathing them in any way, shape or form. And doing so can put people at great risk. https://t.co/QFuGdXIPcp— Commissioner Oxiris Barbot (@NYCHealthCommr) April 24, 2020
At his news conference Thursday, Trump noted that researchers were looking at the effects of disinfectants on the virus and wondered aloud if they could be injected into people, saying the virus "does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
The backlash against the comments was swift and overwhelming. The parent company of Lysol and another disinfectant warned Friday that its products should not be used as an internal treatment for the coronavirus.
Trump on Friday said his comments were meant to be sarcastic, but did not take questions Friday from reporters, which he normally does, at his daily briefing on the federal coronavirus response.
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