Can Dettol Products Kill COVID-19?

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#COVID19

Posts claiming that Dettol antiseptic can be used to cure coronavirus have been shared across social media platforms multiple times.

The accompanying image in those posts, is that of the back of a Dettol bottle.

The same has been spreading on Facebook.

The bottle back, as shared, contains a list of other viruses that can allegedly be controlled using the antiseptic, among them human Coronavirus. The list also includes Influenza Type A2, Herpes simplex, HIV1, Avian flu Type H1N1 (Swine Flu) and H5N1 (Bird Flu).

Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency over the new Coronavirus now known as COVID-19, on January 20, 2020.

According to WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

WHO and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated clearly that to date, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Verification

Dettol has been giving updates on coronavirus now called COVID-19 and they issued a statement clarifying on claims whether the antiseptic can kill COVID-19.

It states in part that previously, “Specific Dettol products have demonstrated effectiveness (>99.9% inactivation) against coronavirus strains from the same family as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in third party laboratory testing when used in accordance with the directions for use.  These products are: Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray, Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes, Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray, and Dettol Disinfectant Liquid.”

The strain listed on the Dettol bottle is common Human Coronavirus, which usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. The CDC states that the common human coronaviruses should not be confused with COVID-19.

Dettol refuted the claim stating that the novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an emerging outbreak and it is not yet available for commercial testing to any brand.

According to the Dettol website, the liquid antiseptic has also been proven to, within 5 minutes of contact, kill a wide range of germs including viruses such as Influenza type A2, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and flu viruses.

Older bottles from before 2019 include HIV1 as one of the listed viruses. UK-based Tear Fund gave an AIDS update stating clearly that disinfectants such as Lysol, Savlon and Dettol will not kill the HIV virus. Newer bottles of Dettol do not include the HIV1 in their list of viruses.

Verdict

Claims that Dettol products can kill the COVID-19 virus are FALSE.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.