The FDA is working to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and keep you and your family informed on the latest developments. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from consumers about treatments and disinfectant sprays and wipes:
Q: What treatments are available for COVID-19?
A: Currently there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. People with mild symptoms are able to recover at home. If you experience a medical emergency such as trouble breathing, call 911 and let the operator know you may have COVID-19. For severe illness, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Researchers are studying new drugs, and drugs that are already approved for other health conditions, as possible treatments for COVID-19. The FDA is working with drug manufacturers, researchers, and other partners to accelerate the development process for COVID-19 treatments. CDC has more information for health care providers about these potential treatments. Never take a prescription medicine or drug if it is not prescribed for you by your doctor for your health condition.
Q: Can disinfectant sprays or wipes be used on my skin, injected, inhaled, or ingested to prevent or treat COVID-19?
A: No. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are not intended for use on humans or animals.
Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin because they may cause skin and eye irritation. Do not inject, inhale, or ingest disinfectant sprays or household cleaners; doing so is dangerous and may cause serious harm or death. If ingested, call poison control or a medical professional immediately.
Always follow the instructions on household cleaners. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces. View the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
Q: Does spraying people with disinfectant lower the spread of COVID-19?
A. Currently there are no data showing that spraying people with aerosolized disinfectants, or having people walk through tunnels or rooms where disinfectant is in the air, can treat, prevent, or lower the spread of COVID-19.
Surface disinfectants should not be used on people or animals. Disinfectant products, such as sprays, wipes, or liquids are only to be used on hard, non-porous surfaces (materials that do not absorb liquids easily) such as floors and countertops. CDC provides information regarding disinfectant practices for surfaces in the Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.
Human antiseptic drugs, such as those allowed in hand sanitizers, are intended for use on human skin, but are not intended for aerosolization (to be sprayed in the air in very small droplets). Due to serious safety concerns, including the risk of inhalational toxicity and flammability, the FDA’s temporary policies for alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 public health emergency specifically do not apply to aerosol sprays. In addition, hand sanitizers are intended for use on the hands, and should never be used over larger body surfaces, swallowed, or inhaled.