Following the news that President Trump discussed in a press conference how UV rays and certain disinfectants may kill the coronavirus,
Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“Disinfectants are in no way an approved treatment for COVID-19, and suggesting their administration via injection, ingestion or other routes could encourage inappropriate and dangerous use.
“Treatments that Trump should have focused on include Fujifilm Toyoma’s Favipiravir (Avigan), which GlobalData expects to be a promising candidate in the race towards establishing a therapeutic treatment – since it is already marketed for influenza in China and Japan and is the first and only drug to show benefit in terms of disease progression and viral clearance in COVID-19. Another promising candidate is Gilead’s Remdesivir, as Gilead is the global market leader for antiviral sales (HIV, HCV), and the agent has been shown to inhibit other coronaviruses in vitro.
“The use of UV light on a living person can cause damage to the skin, premature aging, damage to the cornea of the eye, and sunburn. In addition, UV light can damage the DNA in living cells, leading to mutations and increase the risk of cancers such as basal and squamous cell cancers along with melanoma. Applications of UV to living organisms must take these side effects into account, and care should be taken with exposure to UV light.
“The use of disinfectants internally also has health-related problems, and is not recommended for the treatment of COVID-19. Bleach, when ingested or applied internally, can cause oxidization or burns to tissue. It can also lead to lowered blood pressure, delirium, coma and potentially death. Ingesting isopropyl alcohol can lead to rapid alcohol poisoning and is very irritating to the stomach and intestines, and can lead to internal bleeding.
“The makers of Lysol, a disinfectant, have warned against the internal administration of their products in response to the press conference. They have stated that under no circumstance should their disinfectant products be administered into the human body. Disinfectants should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.”