Why are people saying that Lysol sprays and Clorox wipes fight coronavirus?

While disinfectant sprays can help slow the spread of any viral threats, they are not 100 percent effective.

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A woman wearing a facemask waits with her luggage, at the international terminal at O’Hare airport, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Chicago.

A woman wearing a facemask waits with her luggage, at the international terminal at O’Hare airport, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Chicago.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The ongoing spread of a new coronavirus strain, first identified in Wuhan, China,has caused 170 deaths as the World Health Organization declares it a global health emergency.

Meanwhile, some Facebook and Twitter users have claimedthat common disinfectant sprays and wipes manufactured by brands such as Lysol and Clorox can cure the current outbreak. And while disinfectant sprays can help slow the spread of any viral threats, they are not 100 percent effective.

“Get yourself some Lysol and you’re good,” one Twitter user writes. “This (expletive) kills corona virus in 30 seconds.” 

Facebook post published Tuesday — which has since been deemed “False Information” on the platform — alleges that a bottle of Clorox “claimed it could kill” coronavirus “before it was developed.”

According to a statement by the Clorox Company, some Clorox products, indeed, are effective “against viruses similar” to the current strain of coronavirus. 

The specific products that “can be used against” coronavirusinclude disinfecting wipes and an all-purpose cleaner with bleach, which a representative from the Clorox Company said works only on hard, nonporous surfaces.

Similarly, some Lysol products — including disinfectant and multi-purpose sprays and wipes— have shown effectiveness against similar viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces,per a statement from Lysol.

These products can also be used for the current strain, as approved by the EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy, which allows some manufacturers “to make limited claims” of their products’ effectiveness “against emerging viral pathogens.”

But they may not necessarily be effective toward this new formof coronavirus,currently designatedas 2019-nCoV, or 2019 novel (or new)coronavirus.

Then, why is it called coronavirus? It has not been given a name yet — but its severity has resulted in federal officials and World Health Organization representatives addressingit as “the new coronavirus.”Or, simply, coronavirus.

However, this current strain is not the only form of coronavirus — and is, in fact, in a family of other viruses. Other severe, fast-spreading respiratory illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, are in the family of coronaviruses. A form of coronavirus also causes the common cold.

The branding on Clorox and Lysol products likely refers to its efficacy towardalready-knownforms of coronavirus.

Representatives fromLysol’s parent companyReckitt Benckiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Read more at usatoday.com.

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