With great power comes great calamity?

Keep good hygiene, but remember, disinfectants are mainly used to clean and sanitise open physical space

pic by AFP

NO! You CANNOT, or rather, MUST NOT ingest or inject any form of disinfectant into your body.

While using disinfectants or sanitisers externally might help eradicate viruses and germs on the spots that are treated, ingesting or injecting any cleaning agent might just mean the end of you!

Last week, New York City’s (NYC) Poison Control Centre saw a spike in the number of people ingesting household cleaners after US President Donald Trump (picture) raised the possibility of using disinfectant inside people’s bodies to fight the coronavirus.

Apparently, the National Public Radio reported that the centre had registered some 30 cases within 18 hours last Friday alone, a couple of days after Trump made that rather bold suggestion during one of his briefings.

Of the total cases that were reported by NYC’s Poison Control Centre, nine were related to exposure to Lysol, 10 were “specifically about bleach” and 11 were exposures to other household cleaners.

At a news briefing last Thursday, AFP reported that Trump 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,” Trump said at the briefing.

When top medical experts and disinfectant manufacturers rebuffed his suggestion, Trump later claimed that he was speaking sarcastically when he made the suggestion.

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

Previously, Trump had also suggested hydroxychloroquine, a medicine mainly used to treat malaria as well as for certain conditions that are faced by patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease.

Several countries decided to test the treatment on several subjects. Alas, there was no conclusive result that could confirm the legitimacy of the medication.

Many also believe that the virus might not survive long in hotter climates, a theory that was later debunked by researchers.

Of course, most of us are familiar with another theory that drinking warm water could flush the virus out of our system.

Locally, some even suggested that mitragyna speciosa extract, or “air ketum” if you may, has the necessary property that could destroy the virus. Well, no one could confirm this either.

Sad to say, no cure or vaccine has been found yet. As we speak, the best scientists from all over the world are working hard to find a way to defeat the pesky coronavirus.

And since the cure is still being developed and experimented on, it is best that we curb the disease from spreading in the first place by staying home than to repair the damage that could have been avoided.

After all, prevention is still better than cure. Yes, keep good hygiene too, but remember, disinfectants are mainly used to clean and sanitise open physical space. Just saying…


Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor at The Malaysian Reserve.