Some in Iran die after drinking homemade alcohol to prevent coronavirus: Experts

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There has been an increasing number of people in Iran who have been hospitalized recently due to alcohol-poisoning, after they resorted to drinking home-made or industrial alcohol hoping it would prevent coronavirus infection, said an Iranian professor of toxicology.

Iran confirmed 5,823 cases of coronavirus and a death toll of 145 people as of Saturday, making it one of the most affected countries outside of China.


“Most of the patients have the false belief that alcohol consumption can prevent coronavirus infection,” Shahin Shadnia told Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency on Friday, adding that in some cases, especially when the patient was poisoned by high concentrations of methanol, they died.

Methanol is an industrial alcohol used as a solvent, pesticide, and alternative fuel source.

In extreme cases, alcohol poisoning could lead to permanent blindness, brain damage or heart attacks.

Infectious disease specialist and member of Iran’s national influenza committee, Masoud Mardani, told semi-official ILNA news agency that one to three cases of alcohol-poisoning come in to Logham hospital in Tehran every day.

Alcoholic drinks are banned in Iran since 1979, but many people, especially the non-wealthy, drink spirits distilled at home, which have high concentrations of methanol and are dangerous, or even industrial alcohol with fruit flavoring which is available in supermarkets.

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