AUSTIN (KXAN) – Across social media this week, rumors swirled after several posts pointed out that Clorox and Lysol both advertise as preventing the coronavirus on the packaging of some of their products. Some people even began spreading conspiracy theories that the companies knew about the outbreak ahead of time.
Can these common household cleaners protect you from the virus and did they know about this outbreak ahead of time? Well, maybe and no.
What is a coronavirus?
A common misconception is that the coronavirus is a new virus. This is not true. According to infectious disease expert Dr. Matthew Robinson with St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, the coronavirus refers to the family of viruses this new outbreak is a part of. “There are a number of them,” Dr. Robinson said. “Some of them are quite common.” According to USA Today, you may have caught a coronavirus before in the form of a common cold.
The family of viruses actually get their name from their shape. Dr. Robinson said blown up images of the viruses under a microscope show that the virus resembles a crown. ‘Corona’ is Latin for crown, hence coronavirus.
The Wuhan Coronavirus, the virus that is currently causing a global panic, is simply a new member of the virus family.
Do disinfectant wipes stop it?
Disinfectant wipes and similar products have shown to be effective against the coronavirus family. Clorox said in a statement that their products “demonstrated effectiveness” against coronaviruses, but only on hard, non-porous surfaces.
Also, several Clorox and Lysol products have even been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as a defense against the newest strain of the virus. However, the products have not been properly tested. The assumption being since they’ve worked before, they might work again.