Coronavirus: Siouxsie Wiles urges Kiwis not to inject disinfectant after Donald Trump suggestion

Dr Wiles is urging New Zealanders not to inject or swallow disinfectant.
Dr Wiles is urging New Zealanders not to inject or swallow disinfectant. Photo credit: The AM Show

Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles is urging New Zealanders not to inject themselves with disinfectant after US President Donald Trump suggested it could kill COVID-19.

During the White House's press conference on Thursday, a study was presented which showed coronavirus appeared to weaken when exposed to sunlight and heat, and suggested bleach and isopropyl could kill it within five minutes.

Trump then suggested people could inject themselves with the products to eliminate the virus and encouraged experts to look into it.

During her live stream Q&A on Friday, Dr Wiles was asked whether she thought it was a good idea.

"I can't believe that I have to tell you that please don't inhale or inject disinfectants," she said.

"Disinfectants are things like bleach and stuff, and they are really dangerous. 

"They generally have warnings on them not to drink them or do anything - so yeah, please don't do that, whoever is thinking that's a good idea."

Other medical professionals have also criticised the President's advice.

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn told CNN while research shows disinfectant kills viruses, he "certainly wouldn't recommend [its] internal ingestion".

Dr Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert, told NBC News it was "demoralising" for a doctor to hear the White House "peddle improper health messaging".

"This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible, and it's dangerous," he said. 

"Any amount of bleach or isopropyl alcohol or any kind of common household cleaner is inappropriate for ingestion even in small amounts. Small amounts are deadly."

Gupta said many people take what Trump says seriously and could follow his advice.

"It's exceptionally dangerous," Gupta said. "There's people who hang on to every word of the President."

USA Today reported Trump is now being labelled the 'Tide Pods President' - a reference to a brand of disinfectant laundry tabs.

Democratic politician Joe Biden has suggested Trump instead turn his focus to getting more protective equipment to medical professionals and increase testing.