Coronavirus News: NYC Poison Control sees uptick in Lysol, bleach exposures after Trump's comment on disinfectants

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Saturday, April 25, 2020
This file photo shows a shelf full of Lysol cleaning solution at a CVS.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York City Department of Health said it saw an uptick in Lysol and bleach exposures after President Donald Trump wondered about the prospect of the disinfectants being used as an internal treatment for the coronavirus.

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.

NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot also reiterated the health department's message.

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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