NYC Poison Control Sees Uptick In Calls After Trump’s Disinfectant Comments

Written by on April 26, 2020

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Jason Slotkin, NPR

New York City says its poison control center received a higher-than-normal number of calls in the day after President Trump speculated that injecting household disinfectants could be a coronavirus treatment.

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said that in an 18-hour period ending at 3 p.m. Friday, the poison control center recorded 30 cases. These included nine “specifically about exposure to Lysol, 10 cases specifically about bleach and 11 cases about exposures to other household cleaners,” department spokesperson Pedro F. Frisneda tells NPR. That compares with only 13 cases for the same time frame one year ago.

That same day, the city’s health commissioner released a message discouraging New Yorkers from injecting bleach and other disinfectants.

“Very clearly, disinfectants are not intended for ingestion either by mouth, by ears, by breathing them in — in any way, shape or form. And doing so can put people at great risk,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot in a video posted to Twitter.


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