Story at a glance

  • Officials at the poison center attributed the troubling uptick in calls to inaccurate and misleading information circulating online related to COVID-19 treatment.
  • Health officials said the majority of the calls were from Dallas and Tarrant counties, as well as some from Collin County and others nearby.
  • Most cases were not intentional or severe, but 12 people did seek medical attention.

Health officials in North Texas are reminding people not to ingest disinfectants after seeing an uptick in the number of people who have consumed bleach over the past several weeks. 

The North Texas Poison Center said it has received 46 calls related to people ingesting bleach since Aug. 1, according to NBC 5 Dallas Fort-Worth


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Officials at the poison center attributed the troubling increase to inaccurate and misleading information circulating online related to COVID-19 treatment. 

“We certainly are not used to seeing bleach ingestion, at least that frequently in such a short amount of time, and we do know in general this year compared to last we’re seeing a whole lot more of bleach exposures,” Cristina Holloway, the public health education manager at North Texas Poison Center located at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, told the news outlet. 

The health official said the majority of the calls were from Dallas and Tarrant counties, as well as some from Collin County and others nearby. She said most cases were not intentional or severe, but 12 people did seek medical attention. 

Several other states have reported an increase in people ingesting disinfectants in hopes that it will treat COVID-19. The Georgia Department of Public Health recently sent out an alert warning against consuming chlorine dioxide after receiving reports about residents using it to treat coronavirus. 

The Food and Drug Administration has warned that drinking such products can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration and acute liver failure. 

In April, President Trump was criticized after suggesting during a White House briefing that disinfectant could potentially be injected into the body of patients to treat them for the coronavirus. 

The president’s comments prompted Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser to issue a warning that “under no circumstance” should its products be administered into the human body. 


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Published on Aug 25, 2020