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.