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Some Americans have gargled bleach: survey

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates Americans are putting household disinfectants including bleach into their bodies because they believe such practices can ward off coronavirus - "preventive" measures are ineffective and dangerous.

The study, posted by the CDC on Friday, explored how much its 502 participants knew about disinfectants and asked how those subjects were using such products to stop the spread of the deadly pandemic that has killed more than 110,000 Americans.

"These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided," the report said.

"Although adverse health effects reported by respondents could not be attributed to their engaging in high-risk practices, the association between these high-risk practices and reported adverse health effects indicates a need for public messaging regarding safe and effective cleaning and disinfection practices aimed at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households."

Concerns about the ingestion of household cleaning products spiked in April when President Donald Trump speculated during a news briefing that disinfectants, "by injection inside or almost a cleaning," could someday be used to clean the lungs of people infected with COVID-19.

According to the CDC, four per cent of those surveyed, 20 people, admitted they'd drank or gargled household agents including bleach. A staggering 18 per cent of participants confessed they'd applied cleaning agents to their skin. Nearly 10 per cent inhaled fumes from potentially toxic household disinfectants.

The CDC continued to preach safe guidelines.

"COVID-19 prevention messages should continue to emphasise evidence-based, safe practices such as frequent hand hygiene and frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces," the report said.

© DPA 2020