Understanding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

What is Coronavirus

According to the World Health Organization[i], Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).


What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, while other viruses are less so. Investigations are ongoing to better understand the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV, but there are indications that person-to-person spread is occurring[ii].


Know the Coronavirus Symptoms

According to the CDC, patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infections have reported mild to severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.[iii]


How Coronavirus is Spread

The CDC states[iv] that coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • rarely, fecal contamination

Currently, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably 2019-nCoV is spreading between people. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing.


How to help protect from the Coronavirus

The best way to protect yourself is avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC always recommends[v] simple everyday preventative steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory virus, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

As with all infectious diseases, good hygiene can play a role in controlling its spread. However, the most important public health recommendation is that people report to the nearest health facility if they develop any symptoms indicative of Coronavirus. Call the office of your health care provider before you go and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.


Does Dettol kill the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

This is a new strain of coronavirus never seen before in humans so is not yet available for testing with our products.  We continue to work with our partners to ensure that we have the latest understanding of the virus and will testing our product range once health authorities make the strain available.

However, specific Dettol products have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), when used in accordance with the directions for use.   These include: 

Dettol Disinfectant Spray

Dettol Antiseptic Liquid

Dettol Surface Cleanser

Dettol Hand Sanitizer*


The CDC and World Health Organization specifically advises people to wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Please refer to the CDC website at for additional information.


*vs. Rhinovirus, Rotavirus

Please refer to the WHO website at for additional information.