Outcry after Trump suggests injecting disinfectant …And disinfectant firm warns after comment

US President Donald Trump has been lambasted by the medical community after suggesting research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.

He also appeared to propose irradiating patients’ bodies with UV light, an idea dismissed by a doctor at the briefing.

Another of his officials had moments earlier said sunlight and disinfectant were known to kill the infection.

Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.

Even external exposure can be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

During Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, an official presented the results of US government research that indicated coronavirus appeared to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat.

The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even more quickly.

William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, outlined the findings at the news conference.

While noting the research should be treated with caution, Mr Trump suggested further research in that area.

 “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside of the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting,” the president continued.

Mr Trump then hypothesised about the possibility of using a “tremendous ultraviolet” or “just very powerful light” on or even inside the body as a potential treatment.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute,” he said. “And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?

But a leading disinfectant producer has issued a strong warning not to use its products on the human body after Donald Trump suggested they could potentially be used to treat coronavirus.

Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Lysol and Dettol, said “under no circumstance” should its products be injected or ingested.

President Trump faces a backlash over his comments at a briefing on Thursday.

Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.

Even external exposure can be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

Reckitt Benckiser, which also owns the brands Vanish and Cillit Bang, said its products should not be administered “through injection, ingestion or any other route”.

“Our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information,” the company said in a statement. -BBC

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