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Source of Haitian Epidemic Finally Discovered

ISOH/IMPACT played a role in tracking the source of an epidemic that affected dozens of Haitian children. The organization first became involved in the medical mystery when Lynn Gorton, a health officer for U.S. AID, contacted Linda Greene, ISOH/IMPACT CEO/president, to see if she could find a U.S. hospital that would treat a 2-year-old vicitm of the epidemic.

The epidemic had been going on since November 1995, but the lack of up-to-date technology prevented Haitian doctors from finding the cause. It wasn’t until U.S. doctors – including two in Toledo – and the U.S. Centers for Diease Control and Prevention became involved that the mystery was finally solved.

And the cause? Diethylene glycol, a highly toxic substance similar to the chemical in antifreeze. It had been substituted for another solvent used to make an acetaminophen syrup for children with fever.

Read the full story here