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Clin Toxicol (Phila) ; 60(6): 759-767, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860717


CONTEXT: In June 2019, a paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) case related to the consumption of mussels contaminated by saxitoxins at a concentration below the regulatory threshold came to the attention of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES). This pointed to probable undetected human cases of poisoning by neurotoxic phycotoxins. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of poisoning cases by bivalve shellfish (oysters, mussels and scallops) recorded by the French Poison Control Centres (PCC) from 2012 to 2019. All medical records were reviewed by a toxicologist.Cases that could be related to neurotoxic phycotoxins were selected and described. Diagnosis was based on symptoms compatible with ingestion of contaminated shellfish and on contamination data for the shellfish production area (analysed by the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, Ifremer), or notifications to the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed when the origin of the shellfish was known. RESULTS: Among the 619 shellfish poisoning cases recorded by the PCCs from 2012 to 2019, 22% (n = 134) had reported at least one neurological symptom (headache, dizziness or paraesthesia). Review of medical records for the 134 patients led to suspicion of 14 cases of PSP and one case of amnesic shellfish poisoning. Five patients experienced persistent neurological symptoms. Marine toxins were not tested for in the blood or urine of these patients. CONCLUSION: This retrospective identification of cases strongly suspected of being related to neurotoxic phycotoxins led ANSES, PCCs and Ifremer to develop a specific questionnaire and to recommend actions to take when neurological symptoms related to shellfish consumption are reported to a PCC. Daily monitoring of shellfish poisoning cases registered in the national PCCs database was also implemented in order to rapidly detect any suspicious cases, alert the competent authorities, and warn the general population.

Bivalvia , Shellfish Poisoning , Animals , Humans , Marine Toxins/analysis , Poison Control Centers , Retrospective Studies , Shellfish/analysis , Shellfish Poisoning/diagnosis , Shellfish Poisoning/epidemiology
Clin Toxicol (Phila) ; 59(9): 832-839, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082493


INTRODUCTION: The aim was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on French Poison Control Centre (PCC) call characteristics. METHODS: Reported cases of xenobiotic exposures from 1 March to 30 April in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were extracted from the French National Database of Poisonings. The collected data included call, patient, and exposure characteristics for both general calls and for calls involving sentinel xenobiotic categories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 exposures were compared to 2018-2019 exposures by using simple logistic models in order to provide effect size with odds ratios. RESULTS: From March to April 2020, 32,182 exposures were reported to French PCCs with an overall increase of 5.6% compared to exposures in the same time frame in 2018-2019. A similar increase in calls was observed in non-epidemic and epidemic COVID-19 areas with an increase in calls from the public (+13.6%) while calls from health-professionals decreased (-7.5%). Despite the increase in exposures, the incidence of symptomatic exposures remained stable (-0.4%) with a decrease in severity (moderate/severe -17.2%). A significant increase in exposures to home cleaning products containing biocides, essential oils, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers (odds ratio >1.3, p < .0001) was observed. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic altered calls to French PCCs with a small increase in calls during the study period and changes in the pattern of exposure. These changes possibly reflected the indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic i.e., limited access to primary care, fear of contracting COVID-19 and anxiety related to home isolation.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Poisoning/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
JAMA Ophthalmol ; 139(3): 348-351, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039145


Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHS) widely available in public places. This may warrant determining whether cases of unintentional ocular exposure are increasing, especially in children. Objective: To describe the epidemiologic trend of pediatric eye exposures to ABHS and to report the severity of the ocular lesions. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective case series conducted from April 1, 2020, to August 24, 2020. Cases were retrieved from the national database of the French Poison Control Centers (PCC) and from a pediatric ophthalmology referral hospital in Paris, France. Cases of ocular exposure to chemical agents in children younger than 18 years during the study period were reviewed. Cases of ABHS exposure were included. Exposures: The following data were collected: age, sex, circumstances of exposure, symptoms, size of the epithelial defect at first examination, time between the incident and re-epithelialization, and medical and/or surgical management. Main Outcomes and Measures: Comparison of the number of eye exposures to ABHS in children between April to August 2020 and April to August 2019. Results: Between April 1 and August 24, 2020, there were 7 times more pediatric cases of ABHS eye exposures reported in the PCC database compared with the same period in 2019 (9.9% of pediatric eye exposures in 2020 vs 1.3% in 2019; difference, 8.6%; 95% CI, 7.4-9.9; P < .001). The number of cases occurring in public places increased in 2020 (from 16.4% in May to 52.4% in August). Similarly, admissions to the eye hospital for ABHS exposure increased at the same period (16 children in 2020 including 10 boys; mean [SD] age, 3.5 [1.4] years vs 1 boy aged 16 months in 2019). Eight of them presented with a corneal and/or conjunctival ulcer, involving more than 50% of the corneal surface for 6 of them. Two cases required amniotic membrane transplant. Conclusions and Relevance: These data support the likelihood of an increasing number of unintentional ocular exposures to ABHS in the pediatric population. To maintain good public compliance with hand disinfection, these findings support that health authorities should ensure the safe use of these devices and warn the parents and caregivers about their potential danger for children.

2-Propanol/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethanol/adverse effects , Eye Injuries/chemically induced , Eye Injuries/epidemiology , Hand Disinfection , Hand Sanitizers/adverse effects , Adolescent , Age Factors , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Child, Preschool , Eye Injuries/diagnosis , Female , France/epidemiology , Gels , Humans , Infant , Male , Poison Control Centers , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors