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Fact Check: No, Dettol didn’t test the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Strains, misleading post getting viral

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: February 7, 2020

A post Vishvas News received on Whatsapp is the photo of a Dettol cleaning product label with a white circle around the description of the product. The circled text shows the different microbes Dettol is able to kill, which includes the name of Coronavirus as well. The post caption states: “This kills coronavirus how did they know about it in 2019??” The date in the product description is October 27, 2019.

Claim

The viral post on social media shows the photo of a label of a Dettol product. The circled text shows the different microbes Dettol is able to kill, which includes the name of Coronavirus as well. The post caption states: “This kills coronavirus how did they know about it in 2019??”

Investigation

When Vishvas News started its investigation we found on the website of World Health Organization (WHO) that the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.

The viral post questions how the term “coronavirus” was printed on the label of a Dettol product description in 2019 whereas the novel coronavirus was reported much later.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) 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). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

As per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:

229E (alpha coronavirus)
NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
OC43 (beta coronavirus)
HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new strain in the coronavirus family.

We further investigated and searched whether Dettol can kill the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). On the website of Dettol, we found that: Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus never seen before in humans so is not yet available for testing with our products.  We continue to work with our partners to ensure that we have the latest understanding of the virus and will be testing our product range once health authorities make the strain available.

Vishvas News spoke to Mr. Vishal for the Consumer Care department at Reckitt Benkiser (RB), the parent company of Dettol. He said: “Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus. This is not available for testing with our products so far. The labels on some of the products mentioning Coronavirus is that they are effective against other strains and not the recent novel coronavirus.”

Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.

Conclusion: The label of Dettol mentioning that it kills coronavirus is not the recent strain of coronavirus. They have not tested its products for the recent noval coronavirus. Misleading post is getting viral.

  • Claim Review : Dettol kills coronavirus
  • Claimed By : Whatsapp user
  • Fact Check : Misleading
Misleading
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

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