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VERIFY: No, Lysol did not know about this strain of the coronavirus ahead of time

All over social media, people speculated that companies like Lysol and Clorox were aware of the incoming epidemic in China, because of their labels. But what's true?

WASHINGTON — Question:

Did companies like Lysol and Clorox know about this new strain of the coronavirus ahead of time?


No. Despite confusion about the label on the can, these companies were aware of the general "coronavirus," and not the new strain, which has been spreading across East Asia. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Environmental Protection Agency



The labels of products like Lysol and Clorox have caused some major confusion on social media. Photos have emerged, showing that these products claim to disinfect "Human Coronavirus."

“How is the coronavirus new and novel," wrote on social media user. "If Lysol has been killing it for years,” asked one person on Twitter. 

Another user took a more extreme angle. 

"This Chinese virus is not new," they wrote. "We are being lied to.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered some context on this situation. The big distinction is between coronaviruses as a whole, and this new strain called 2019-nCoV, which is spreading in China. 

According to the CDC, coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s, and so they are not new. In fact, the CDC had identified six other strains. 

Products like Lysol have been cleared by the EPA to disinfect some of the older "coronaviruses," although that's not the case just yet for the new strain. 

So, there's no government conspiracy here. Lysol did not know about this new strain when they advertised that they disinfect "Human Coronavirus."

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