Understanding Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus

According to the World Health Organization[i], 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)

What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, while other viruses are less so. Investigations are ongoing to better understand the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, but there are indications that person-to-person spread is occurring[ii].

Know the Coronavirus Symptoms

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA,  patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections have reported mild to severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms including:

- Fever
- Cough
- Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.[iii]

How Coronavirus is Spread

The CDC states[iv] that coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

- the air by coughing and sneezing
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- rarely, fecal contamination

Currently, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably COVID-19 is spreading between people. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Poster: 6 Tips to Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Viruses

How to help protect from the Coronavirus

The best way to protect yourself is avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC always recommends[v] simple everyday preventative steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory virus, including:

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze, preferably with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin

As with all infectious diseases, good hygiene can play a role in controlling its spread. However, the most important public health recommendation is that people report to the nearest health care provider if they develop any symptoms indicative of Coronavirus. Call the office of your health care provider before you go and tell them about any previous travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

Does Dettol kill the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus.  It is not yet 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.  These products are: Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray, Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes, Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray, and Dettol Disinfectant Liquid.

Not all products may be marketed in Ireland.

Given the structural similarities of the COVID-19 virus to the coronavirus strains tested previously (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Human Coronavirus), and based on the evidence available to us, we would expect our Dettol products (listed above) to be effective against the new strain. Definitive scientific confirmation of this, as with all other commercially available virucides, can only be provided once testing against COVID-19 Coronavirus has been conducted, following release of the strain by relevant health authorities. 

The CDC and World Health Organization specifically advises people to wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a key preventative measure against the spread Coronavirus COVID-19. A good quality disinfectant will help reduce risk to families. Our Dettol Hand Sanitizers use ethanol (alcohol) as the germ disinfection active ingredient in line with CDC and WHO recommendations.

Please refer to the NHS website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/ and/or the WHO website at https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus and/or the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ for additional information.

RB Statement: Improper use of Disinfectants

Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.

We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts. For this and other myth-busting facts, please visit Covid-19facts.com.

Poster: 8 Steps to Clean Hands


For more in-depth articles and information please also visit COVID-19FACTS.COM



[i] https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

[ii] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

[iii] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

[iv] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/ transmission.html

[v] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html