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Calls to US emergency hotlines has seen a surge as people seek advice about ingesting disinfectant following comments made by Donald Trump.
Officials in Maryland sent out an alert warning people that 'under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route'.
ALERT:rotating_light:: We have received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and #COVID19.- Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MDMEMA) (@MDMEMA) April 24, 2020
This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.
In a post on Twitter the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MDMEMA) said it had 'received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and covid-19.'
Meanwhile in New York a similar influx of calls was reported.
According to the New York Daily News, the New York Poison Control Centre received 30 calls about Lysol, bleach and other household cleaners calls between 9pm on Thursday and 3pm on Friday - compared to 13 calls about the same products taken during the same 18-hour period last year.
New York Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot tweeted on Friday to say: "To be clear, disinfectants are not intended for ingestion either by mouth, by ears, by breathing them in any way, shape or form. Doing so can put people at great risk."
According to the New York Daily News, none of those who made calls needed hospital treatment.
Meanwhile, American Medical Association President Patrice Harris said in a statement: "It is unfortunate that I have to comment on this, but people should under no circumstances ingest or inject bleach or disinfectant.
"Rest assured when we eventually find a treatment for or vaccine against covid-19, it will not be in the cleaning supplies aisle."
Speaking during a press conference on Thursday night, Donald Trump said: "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
He has since said he was 'asking a question sarcastically'.
Last night, he told reporters: "I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen."
He then added: "I was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands, and it would make things much better."
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