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300 People Dead, 1000 Fall Ill in Iran After Drinking Methanol, Which Was Falsely Claimed to Heal Coronavirus

They thought it would sanitize their insides.

  • Some Iranians thought that high alcohol content can sanitize their body internally.
  • One of the patients included a five-year-old boy who had to be intubated.
  • Bootleggers add bleach to methanol and then sell it as a drinkable product.

These are truly desperate times for a lot of people, so it’s not a surprise if some turn to just about any type of remedy to heal or ward off the dreaded coronavirus. People in Iran, however, paid a high price for this after drinking methanol, which they thought would cure them from the disease.

Media reports in Iran said that nearly 300 people died and over 1,000 got sick after ingesting methanol, thinking it would sanitize them. This came along with the spread of fake remedies across social media in the country, as people got deeply suspicious of the government, who they claim has been downplaying the crisis for days.

Hundreds died and more than a thousand fell ill after drinking methanol.

“When they keep drinking this, there’s going to be more people poisoned,” says Dr. Knut Erik Hovda, a clinical toxicologist in Oslo who researches about methanol poisoning.

Some people believed that the high-proof alcohol can kill the virus in their bodies. Social media information also spread stories about a British school teacher and other people curing themselves of the virus by drinking whiskey and honey.

There are 144 dead in Tehran because of the virus as of March 27. The death toll stands to at least 2,378.
Confirmed cases are at around 2,926. A total of approxmately 32,300 are infected.

One of the victims was a five-year-old boy, who had to be intubated after ingesting industrial alcohol. In Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province and its southern city of Shiraz, dozens got sick drinking bootleg alcohol (drinking alcohol is banned in Iran) containing methanol.

The Iranian government mandates that manufacturers should add artificial color to toxic methanol to make it easy to distinguish from ethanol, which is used to clean wounds.

The latter is also found in alcoholic beverages, although production is banned in Iran.

The bootleggers in the country add a splash of bleach to methanol to mask the added color, so that they can sell it as a drinkable product.

Methanol damages the body through organ and brain damage. Chest pain, hyperventilation, nausea, and blindness are the common symptoms. It can also bring a patient to a coma.


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