Three people died and one person was permanently blinded in New Mexico after drinking hand sanitiser
- Three people died and one is permanently blind from methanol poisoning after ingesting hand sanitiser in New Mexico, according to the state's Department of Health.
- The cases, which were spread out between several weeks in May, are related to alcoholism, health officials said.
- Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people not to buy nine sanitiser products manufactured by a company in Mexico after they were found to contain methanol - a chemical that can be toxic.
- It is not clear whether the victims ingested any of the hand sanitisers produced by the company.
- According to health experts, a greater number of methanol poisonings usually occur in times when alcohol is difficult to come by.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Three people died, three are in critical condition, and one is permanently blind from methanol poisoning after drinking hand sanitiser in New Mexico, according to health officials.
The New Mexico Department of Health said the cases are related to alcoholism, adding that hand sanitiser is sometimes consumed for its high alcohol content, CNN reported.
The first case was reported to the New Mexico Poison Control and Drug Information Centre on 7 May, with the rest occurring after May 29, officials said.
No additional details on the victims or where the incidents happened were provided, although a doctor working at Poison Control Center said the cases stretched across two states and multiple counties, according to the New York Times.
The news comes a week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people not to buy nine sanitizer products manufactured by a company in Mexico after samples were found to contain methanol - a chemical that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
It is not clear whether the victims drank any of the hand sanitizers produced by the company.
Ingesting significant amounts of methanol can result in symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, or death, according to the National Capital Poison Center.
Dr. Warrick, who is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico and is certified in emergency medicine and medical toxicology, told The Times that historically, experts have witnessed more methanol poisonings in times when alcohol is difficult to come by.
New Mexico health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a statement. "If you think you may have used or consumed hand sanitizer containing methanol, please seek medical care,"
"An antidote to methanol poisoning is available, but the earlier someone gets treated for methanol poisoning the better the chance of recovery," Kunkel added.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Large petrol hike coming next week - but fuel will still be cheaper than in March
- A doctor tested her oxygen levels and heart rate while wearing face masks to show they don't make it hard to breathe
- These 25 things could become obsolete after the Covid-19 pandemic
- Mark Zuckerberg has lost R120 billion as Coca-Cola halts all social media advertising for 30 days
- The latest model of one of SA’s favourite mountain bike has arrived – priced at R190,000