MONTREAL -- The Centre anti-poison du Quebec (CAPQ) is urging Quebecers not to ingest disinfectants or other cleaning products to attempt to cure or prevent against COVID-19, as the agency saw a spike in poisonings in March.

CAPQ spokesperson Mathieu Boivin said the provincial body is in agreement with the joint statement from the three American organizations (The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, the American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Association of Poison Control Centres) that cautioned about using cleaning products and disinfectants to treat coronavirus after US President Donald Trump suggested it would be interesting to check whether disinfectants could be injected into people to halt the virus.

“There are currently no medications or vaccines proven to be effective for the direct treatment or prevention of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus,” reads the joint statement.

“Hydrogen peroxide (including “food grade” product) is not intended for human consumption. Household cleaning products, including disinfectants, are effective for killing bacteria and viruses on household surfaces. These products should never be swallowed or injected. This can result in harm and even death.”

In Quebec, there was a 31 per cent increase in cleaning product exposure cases in March compared to the year prior, according to the CAPQ.

Boivin said it was too soon to see if Trump's comments caused the numbers of poisonings to spike.

According to the agency, 43 per cent involved a person aged 0-5 and 62 per cent involved ingesting potentially lethal products.

In March, there was a 266 per cent increase involving bleach and 63 per cent more cases involving hand sanitizers.

THE CAPQ emergency hotline (1-800-463-5060) is open 24 hours a day seven days a week to assess the urgency of a situation, answer and questions and direct callers what to do if they come in contact with poisonous substances.