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According to the Centers for Disease Control, Chlorine Poisoning has become more prevalent in the wake of the Ebola Virus outbreak. Health care workers and individuals in affected regions may have the impression that consumption or excessive use of chlorine and other disinfectants can cure Ebola. However, chlorine and other disinfectants can be poisonous and should not be consumed.
What is Chlorine?
Chlorine is a household and industrial chemical used for cleaning and disinfecting. Calcium Hypochloride and similar variations can be mixed in water and used for cleaning and disinfecting safely. Chlorine is typically recommended for external cleaning, hand washing, and as a surface disinfectant. When ingested, chlorine is toxic to the body. Additionally, though alone it is not flammable, chlorine can react explosively when combined with other compounds such as turpentine and ammonia. Care should be taken when using chlorine.
What is Chlorine Poisoning?
When ingested, chlorine (bleach) can cause sickness or death depending on the amount consumed. Signs of chlorine poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain
- Burning eyes, nose, and throat
- Chest discomfort
- Coughing, wheezing
- Nausea, vomiting
- Skin burns
Medical professionals are urging healthcare workers and other individuals exposed to the Ebola virus not to use chlorine excessively, and definitely, not to drink chlorine. Improper use can lead to serious harm and/or death. If you or someone you know has come into contact with the Ebola virus, the most appropriate action is to contact an Ebola treatment facility immediately.