New York City sees more people ingesting household cleaners after Trump's disinfectant gaffe

The Poison Control Centre in New York reported 30 cases related to exposure to Lysol, bleach other household cleaners.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK, April 26 (The Straits Times/ANN) - New York City's Poison Control Centre saw a spike in the number of people ingesting household cleaners after United States President Donald Trump raised the possibility of using disinfectant inside people's bodies to fight the coronavirus.

The non-profit National Public Radio (NPR) reported that the centre registered 30 cases in an 18-hour period ending at 3pm on Friday (April 24), as opposed to only 13 cases for the same timeframe a year ago.

Nine of the cases were related to exposure to Lysol, 10 were "specifically about bleach" and 11 were exposures to other household cleaners, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spokesman Pedro Frisneda told NPR.

At a news briefing on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported that the US leader stunned the world by saying doctors might treat people infected with the coronavirus by shining ultraviolet light inside their bodies, or with injections of household disinfectant.

"Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks (the virus) out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs," he said.

After a strong rebuff of his suggestion by top medical experts and disinfectant manufacturers, Mr Trump on Friday claimed he had been speaking "sarcastically".

"I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen," he told journalists on Friday.

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