The Georgia Department of Public Health is warning people not to fall for fake cures or treatments for COVID-19.

"DPH learned from leaders in local Hispanic/Latinx communities that people were ingesting chlorine dioxide to 'cure or treat' COVID-19," agency spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said. "There has been a surge of COVID-19 cases in Latin America, and fake cures and unproven treatments such as drinking chlorine dioxide are being promoted online and through social media."

Chlorine dioxide is a bleach-like cleaning agent and, if ingested, can have severe, adverse health effects, including death. 

DPH said chlorine dioxide products "have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use" and that the fake cures are being touted under product names like Miracle Mineral Solution or Master Mineral Solution. 

DPH Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey wants to proactively address the serious health risk in the hope of preventing anyone in Georgia from being severely injured or possibly dying from this dangerous practice, Nydam said. 

If you or someone you know has ingested chlorine dioxide, contact the Georgia Poison Center hotline at 1-800-222-1222.