Officials: 2 Georgia men drank cleaning products to fight virus
ATLANTA – Two Georgia men were hospitalized after drinking cleaning products hoping to prevent a coronavirus infection.
Georgia Poison Control Director Gaylord Lopez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the men in Atlanta, who had a history of mental health issues, are expected to recover after drinking the products over the weekend.
Lopez said he does not know if the men ingested the cleaning solutions because of President Donald Trump’s musings on whether injecting disinfectants could treat the virus during a White House briefing on Thursday. The statements provoked an intense outcry from health officials and prompted RB, the company behind Lysol, to release a statement urging people to avoid ingesting their 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,” the company said.
The first man in Atlanta drank about 16 ounces of bleach on Saturday. He was treated in a hospital and has since been discharged from a psychiatric ward, Lopez said. Authorities did not reveal his identity but noted the man was in his 50s.
A second man in his 30s was discharged after he guzzled a mixture of Pine-Sol, mouthwash, beer and pain medications on Sunday, Lopez said. At least two other people in Georgia have consumed household chemicals since the virus outbreak began and before President Trump made his comments, the news outlet reported.
The state’s poison center was made aware of the two men’s cleaning product consumption when hospitals treating them called seeking advice.
“We don’t ask the question of, was it because they watched a TV show?” Lopez said. The center’s mission is to provide advice so they “make sure these patients make it,” he added.
Lopez said poison control also has seen a spike in other calls this year, involving people who have inhaled different household supplies while cleaning surfaces, and children poisoned when parents left them unattended while working from home. According to the CDC, calls to poison centers about disinfectants has increased 20% in the first three months of this year.
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