If you’re thinking about relying solely on Lysol to protect yourself from coronavirus, you may want to rethink your plans and perhaps listen to President Donald Trump’s advice instead.
Why? Well for one, does Lysol even kill the new strain of coronavirus!? While the question may sound ridiculous at first glance, it’s actually 100 percent legitimate.
The question reportedly first appeared sometime this month when a Facebook user pointed out that the advertising information on the back of Lysol cans lists ‘Human Coronavirus’ among a slew of diseases and conditions that the disinfectant’s allegedly able to eliminate from surfaces.
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As seen in the video above, folks were highly skeptical because “the virus has only been around, discovered for a couple months at most, and this has obviously been in production for a while.”
But they were wrong and right to be skeptical. First, the term coronavirus covers a wide spectrum of viruses that have existed for ages.
“Coronavirus has been around for centuries,” Dr. Claudio Tuda of the Mount Sinai Medical Center said last week to Florida station WPLG.
As for COVID-19, the specific breed of the coronavirus that’s appeared throughout the world in recent months, it definitely is new.
“[T]he strain mutates every year, and every year it’s different,” Tuda explained.
So the question then becomes whether Lysol is effective against COVID-19? And unfortunately, there’s no clear answer to this question.
Human Coronavirus…on a Lysol bottle. It’s been around how long? pic.twitter.com/npTwLVqUXV
— Teena (@Tina09614537) February 23, 2020
“Specific Lysol products have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on hard, non-porous surfaces,” a section on Lysol’s website dedicated to the coronavirus reads.
The key words there, according to Tuda, are “similar to.”
“They tested it against the coronavirus as a family,” he said. “That’s what it means.”
So how would one determine whether Lysol is effective against COVID-19? Through rigorous scientific testing, according to the company.
“Definitive scientific confirmation of this, as with all other commercially available virucides, can only be provided once testing against SARS-CoV-2 has been conducted, following release of the strain by relevant health authorities,” a spokesperson said.
But it’s more complicated than that because coronavirus is “thought to spread mainly from person-to-person” via coughing, sneezing, etc., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” the centers note.
Coronavirus – Decrease the Spread – listen about things to know @CDCgov
Consider RETWEET – spread the word not the virus!#podcast @MediBlurb #COVID19 #coronavirus #epidemic #infection #infectionprevention
More info @CDCgov – https://t.co/sBj9R5T1oG pic.twitter.com/PVuLBzvUbM
— Jim Dwyer MD (@JimDwyerMD) February 27, 2020
So in short, relying on Lysol alone to protect yourself from coronavirus probably won’t cut it. Instead, you’d probably be better off following the president’s advice.
“You have to always … wash your hands, stay clean,” he said during a press conference early Wednesday evening. “You don’t necessarily have to grab every handrail unless you have to. You do certain things that you do when you have the flu. View this the same as the flu. When somebody sneezes, I try and bail out as much as possible.”
He then recounted a humorous story about a man with a fever who’d hugged and kissed him the week before.
President Trump: “I had a man come up to me a week ago. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I said, ‘How you doing?’ He said, ‘Fine, fine.’ He hugs me. I said, ‘Are you well?’ He says, ‘No.’ He said, ‘I have the worst fever and the worst flu,’ and he’s hugging and kissing me.” pic.twitter.com/L9L0SvdKWT
— The Hill (@thehill) February 27, 2020
Was he right though about treating this like the flu? Yes and no, according to medical experts.
On one hand, coronavirus isn’t expected to cause the majority of people any truly severe complications:
Don’t panic. Doctors/ virologists I’m speaking to say 98% of people will be fine, even if they get Covid-19. They expect it will go around the world, but that most people who get it will be a little sick, then recover. The danger is to vulnerable people. Hospitals/ old age homes.
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) February 26, 2020
But on the other hand, an outbreak of coronavirus in your community could spur some problems, which is why some additional measures might be necessary.
Stock Up On Food/Medicine
“The reason to stock up on certain products now isn’t so much to avoid potential shortages in the event of an outbreak but to practice what experts call social distancing,” NPR reported Wednesday.
“Basically, you want to avoid crowds to minimize your risk of catching the disease. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the last place you want to be is in line at a crowded grocery store or drugstore.”
Be A Bit More Meticulous In Your Cleaning
“If COVID-19 does start circulating in your community or there’s someone sick at home, plan on cleaning surfaces that get touched frequently — such as kitchen counters and bathroom faucets — several times a day, says Dr. Trish Perl, chief of the infectious disease division at UT Southwestern Medical Center,” NPR’s report continued.
“That advice, she says, comes from studies on other diseases “where they’ve shown that if you do clean up the environment, you can actually decrease the amount of virus that is on hard surfaces significantly.”
And Seriously, WASH YOUR HANDS
“[O]ne of the best ways to protect yourself against infection from COVID-19 — or cold or flu, for that matter – is good old-fashioned hand hygiene,” according to NPR.
And according to the president!
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