The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 15 cases of methanal poisoning due to ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
The 15 cases, including four deaths, were reported in the states of Arizona and New Mexico from May through June 30, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday citing the CDC as saying.
Among the four victims, three had seizures when they were hospitalized, while three others lost their eyesight following their treatment, according to the CDC.
In July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning, saying that "methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested".
Washing and disinfecting hands can effectively help curb the spread of COVID-19, while ingesting a hand sanitizer cannot, said the CDC, adding that why the patients drank hand sanitizers remains unclear.
Similarly in April, accidental poisonings from disinfectants were on the rise after President Donald Trump suggested that injecting disinfectants could help curb the coronavirus spread.