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No, Dettol surface cleanser not proven to kill 2019 coronavirus

This article is more than 4 years old

A photo doing the rounds on WhatsApp shows the label on a bottle of Dettol anti-bacterial surface cleanser. 

The label says the cleanser is suitable for kitchen sinks, baths, taps, fridges and bins. It also says the liquid has been proven to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, as well as viruses such as coronavirus. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome

An outbreak of a new coronavirus strain was identified in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. By 3 February 2020, the World Health Organization reports, 17,391 cases of the strain had been confirmed worldwide, with 361 deaths in China and one outside China. 

But can Dettol anti-bacterial surface cleanser kill this virus? 

Products not been tested on new strain of virus

Previously, specific Dettol products have shown to be effective against certain strains of coronavirus. They include the Dettol disinfectant spray, liquid, surface cleanser and wipes.

But the coronavirus spreading at the moment, known as the 2019 “novel” coronavirus (2019-nCoV), has not yet been tested against Dettol products. 

“Once health authorities make the strain available”, Dettol will test its product range against it, the company notes on its website

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