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The makers of Dettol have been forced to issue a press release telling people not to inject themselves with disinfectant — after US president Donald Trump suggested it could help kill the coronavirus.
British firm Reckitt Benckiser (RB), which makes disinfectants Dettol and Lysol among other household products, said "under no circumstance" should disinfectant be injected or ingested.
At his press conference on Thursday, Trump suggested scientists should investigate if they could inject the human body with disinfectants to kill the virus.
"I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute," he said. "Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that."
In a statement, RB said: "Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
"As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information."
Trump also suggested that scientists should look at how they could "hit the body" with ultraviolet light to treat patients for coronavirus.
His comments at the White House briefing have sparked an outcry from the medical profession.
Speaking at the UK government's daily coronavirus briefing on Friday evening, deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries also urged people not to follow the president's suggestion.
“Clearly, we would not support [that], from a medical professional perspective, it is really important that people use appropriate treatments that are evidence-based and tested,” she said.
“We have very good programmes that have been taken up very rapidly, coordinated in this country, testing various different alternative treatments. Those trials will report reasonably early, but certainly nobody should be injecting anything, and we should be using evidence-based and properly trialled treatments that we know will be safe.”