Cases of poisoning by household items have risen after Officials in the US advised disinfecting high-risk surfaces to limit coronavirus spread.
The humble advice was pushed to the max when Lisa soaked her vegetables and food in a solution of bleach, hot water, and vinegar.
Soon after, the pungent odor of chlorine spread and made it difficult to breathe for her.
Lisa was discharged a few hours after she arrived at the hospital. Another couple who had gone a similar path, however, suffered irreversible consequences. The Arizona couple believed Donald Trump’s recommendation for using hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19. They ingested fish tank cleaner mistaking chloroquine phosphate in it to be the same thing.
This type of molecule is not approved for humans though it is related to hydroxychloroquine. Among the hospitalized couple, the man passed away and the woman was left in dire condition for a while.
Daily experiences of poison centers are placed in greater difficulty by the pandemic. Like health centers of other kinds, they too have had their fair share of problems but across countries, the impact has varied.
Cases of poisoning by household items and disinfectants went up 16% and 20% in only the first few months of 2020. This number was before Trump gave a piece of dangerous advice in April. On medically unsupported advice he said injecting disinfectant might save people from coronavirus infections.
In other places, the number of cases remains either constant or fall further since the rise of coronavirus. Inquiries to the UK’s National Poisons Information Service fell by 13% in April and March over the previous year. Mainland Europe has experienced similar trends in their inquiries.
European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists former president, Bruno Mégarbane, addresses these cases to be arising due to isolation. Many sources of intoxication have been out of reach from people in confinement and that might explain why.
Exposure to other methods of intoxication has increased, however, and the type of cases has changed altogether everywhere. Mégarbane explains it is an imperative principle in toxicology: the accessibility of concerning products is directly proportional to the increase in cases of poisoning.
Cases of poisoning by household items commonly found is becoming a hazardous problem.
Toxicologist Magali Labadie In Bordeaux, France, reports cases of people burnt by bleach are on a rise. People rub the bleach into their bodies and turn completely red she says. They have begun using methylated spirits to wash hands which irritates their skin. Some douse their houses fully in bleach and it ends up triggering asthma attacks in them.
There are cases of children experiencing poisoning by cleaning items such as hand sanitizers as a result of being confined in the same place as the product for a long time.
World Health Organization has reminded the world that pets are safe and do not transmit Covid-19, despite even that reminder, vets are looking at terrible cases of cats in comas induced by alcohol and dogs burnt by bleach after being washed with it. These cases are on the increase too.
Harder to access substances like the drug metformin used for diabetes have also contributed to some cases. This happened after a possibility was brought out that it might be useful against Covid-19.
In another case, a woman ingested hair dye. The molecule paraphenylenediamine in the dye is known to cause a severe allergic reaction, burning soft tissues in the body.
Poison centers have tirelessly aimed to communicate effectively, particularly when incorrect information makes rounds after people in authority spread it. Sadly it is not always effective.
Mégarbane expresses his concern saying, contrastingly, deconfinement has contributed to anxiety and stress in people and that could be a contributing reason.