Dettol has advised there’s no indication its spray can kill the dangerous Wuhan coronavirus after customers spotted it on the label.
Eagle-eyed shoppers spotted a claim on the label of a bottle of the disinfectant that it could kill cold viruses (human coronavirus and RSV).
One customer shared a snap of the back of a bottle of the cleaning product, where it shows: ‘Kills E Coli, sammonella, MRSA, rotavirus, flu, virus, cold viruses, human coronavirus and RSV’.
Surprised, he wrote: “This kills coronavirus, how did they know about it in 2019?”.
But Dettol manufacturer RB has clarified that there’s nothing to suggest it’s effective in wiping out the Wuhan strain of coronavirus.
The label instead refers to more common strains of the virus which it’s been tested and shown to eliminate.
Coronaviruses are a collection of viruses that cause respiratory infections which are typically mild, including the common cold.
RB has become aware of speculation about Dettol products and the novel 2019-nCoV coronavirus, and as this is an emerging outbreak RB, like all manufacturers, doesn’t yet have access to the new virus (2019-nCoV) for testing and as a consequence, are not yet in a position to confirm levels of effectiveness against the new strain.
Their other products have been tested against other coronaviruses, such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV and have been determined to kill those.
The firm added it will continue to work to understand the virus and test Dettol’s effectiveness against it once health authorities make the strain available.
It goes on to say the firm will proceed to play their part in fighting and containing the outbreak of the virus and bequeath £5.5 million in cash and products and further bring in medical personnel to treat those affected and to give soap and hand sanitizers to hospitals in Wuhan.
It comes after a rescue flight evacuating more than 80 Brits from coronavirus hit Wuhan arrived in the United Kingdom.
The global death toll, in China, has reached 259 with 11,791 cases confirmed, exceeding the SARS infection.
The World Health Organisation has said the outbreak is a global health emergency on an unparalleled scale and the Foreign Office advised all but necessary travel to the country because of the virus outbreak.
British Airways has also suspended all flights to and from mainland China.
Dettol’s active ingredient is chloroxylenol which is a widely available disinfectant. Chloroxylenol is effective against a broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria and including coronaviruses.
Its use is as a surface disinfectant on hard surfaces or skin and wounds and it can also be incorporated into soaps.
Chloroxylenol is toxic if ingested and it shouldn’t be used as an aerosol that people may breathe.
Coronaviruses are a collection of viruses but Dettol only kills off the common strains and it hasn’t been tested on the new emerged mutated form of coronavirus.
Coronavirus is the generic term, the common cold is a coronavirus and most people have almost certainly had a coronavirus infection at some point. Most are not dangerous and the Wuhan outbreak is a novel coronavirus, novel simply means its a new strain.
Viruses mutate into new ones all the time, which is why there’s no magical cure for a cold and why the flu jab is modified every year.