The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it received notification of 15 cases of methanol poisoning associated with ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitisers in recent months.
The 15 cases, including four deaths, were reported in Arizona and New Mexico states from May through June 30, according to a CDC report published Wednesday.
Among the four patients who died, three had seizures when they were hospitalised. And three other patients were discharged with vision loss after treatment, according to the CDC.
In early July, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning, saying “Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.”
Washing and disinfecting hands can effectively help curb the spread of COVID-19, while swallowing hand sanitizer can not, said the CDC, adding that why the patients drank hand sanitizers remains unclear.
Similarly, back in April, accidental poisonings from disinfectants were rising after President Donald Trump suggested that injections of disinfectants could help defeat the coronavirus during a daily briefing on COVID-19.
As of Friday night, confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States hit over 4,941,000 and fatalities surpassed 161,300, according to Johns Hopkins University.