Dettol Products Work Against Novel Coronavirus? Here’s The Truth

Viral images on social media claim that Dettol products are effective against novel coronavirus.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read
Viral images are being circulated on social media to claim that Dettol knew about the novel coronavirus even before the outbreak was officially announced. 
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CLAIM

Misinformation related to the novel coronavirus has gripped the country in fear ever since 29 people were tested positive in India.

In the wake of this outbreak, an image of a Dettol product mentioning that it is effective in preventing the virus is being shared on various social media platforms.

Various users on Twitter and Facebook are using the image to claim that Dettol knew about the virus even before the outbreak was officially announced on 31 December 2019.

Dettol Products Work Against Novel Coronavirus? Here’s The Truth
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Screenshot)
Dettol Products Work Against Novel Coronavirus? Here’s The Truth
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Screenshot)

THE TRUTH

Upon verification, The Quint can confirm that the images of Dettol’s disinfectant products have not been altered, but they are being circulated with a misleading claim.

The label on the back of Dettol products specifies that it can kill “cold viruses” (human coronavirus and RSV).

While responding to a user on Twitter, Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB), the manufacturers of Dettol products, clarified that the ‘product is effective against other coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARSCoV)‘ but they don’t have access to a sample of the novel coronavirus to make any such claim.

Reckitt Benckiser Group had issued a clarification on the claim being made on social media.
Reckitt Benckiser Group had issued a clarification on the claim being made on social media.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ Screengrab)
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The company had made a similar statement earlier in February where it had mentioned that the news strain of COVID-19 ‘is not available for commercial testing’.

“Specific Dettol products have demonstrated effectiveness (>99.9% inactivation) against coronavirus strains from the same family as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in third party laboratory testing, when used in accordance with the directions for use,” the statement added.

These products include Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray, Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes, Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray, and Dettol Disinfectant Liquid.

Further the company claimed that owing to the structural similarities of COVID-19 virus to the coronavirus strains such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, human coronavirus, that have been tested earlier, “and based on the evidence available to us, we would expect our Dettol products (listed above) to be effective against the new strain.”

However, a confirmation can only be provided once the products have been tested against COVID-19.

The Quint has also reached out to the Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB), the manufacturers of Dettol products, to find out the year in which this packaging was issued. The story will be updated as and when they respond.

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