I know that many of us have made jokes about this recently, but apparently there are still many folks in this country who absolutely feel the pressing need to consume hand sanitizer.

According to a story reported on by WHDH/News 7 in Boston, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that people are getting sick and even dying after swallowing hand sanitizer.

The CDC states that four have died and others have suffered impaired vision or seizures.

In a recently published report, the CDC cautions, “Alcohol-based hand sanitizer products should never be ingested.”

A CDC team described the cases of 15 adults in Arizona and New Mexico hospitalized for methanol poisoning after consuming alcohol-based hand sanitizers between May and June.

The CDC is unsure why people might drink hand sanitizer. Children might do it by mistake, and some people may think it’s a good substitute for alcoholic drinks. It is not.

In late June, CDC received notification from public health officials and partners in Arizona and New Mexico about methanol poisoning linked with the ingestion of hand sanitizers.

The researchers found 15 people, ages 21 to 65, were admitted to a hospital after ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Six developed seizures while in the hospital and three were discharged with new visual impairments, the researchers found.

One patient, a 44-year-old man, said that he drank hand sanitizer in the few days before seeking medical care, according to the CDC paper. The man was hospitalized for six days for acute methanol poisoning and when he was discharged, he went home with almost complete vision loss.

Four of the adults in the CDC report died.

This isn’t the first time that public health agencies have reminded people not to ingest certain disinfectants or use such products improperly.

In April — just a day after President Trump suggested during a White House briefing that injecting disinfectant might be a possible coronavirus treatment — the CDC posted on Twitter: “Household cleaners and disinfectants can cause health problems when not used properly. Follow the instructions on the product label to ensure safe and effective use.”

For more on this story, head to WHDH/ News 7's website here and for more information on the new study from the CDC, go here.

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