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A syndemic of COVID-19 and methanol poisoning in Iran: Time for Iran to consider alcohol use as a public health challenge?
Metadata
Journalalcohol2.5Date
2020 Jun 04
4 months ago
Type
Editorial
Volume
2020-09 / 87 : 25-27
Author
Shokoohi M 1, Nasiri N 2, Sharifi H 2, Baral S 3, Stranges S 4
Affiliation
  • 2. HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
  • 3. Department of Epidemiology, Key Populations Program, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 4. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
Doi
PMIDMESH
Alcohol Drinking
Betacoronavirus
Coronavirus Infections
Humans
Iran
Methanol
Pandemics
Pneumonia, Viral
Public Health
Syndemic
Abstract
Methanol poisoning has been a significant public health challenge for several decades in Iran. Even though alcohol use is highly criminalized, people consume illicit alcohol, which tends to be predominantly homemade and often contains methanol. Consequently, thousands of individual poisonings and hundreds of deaths annually are attributable to methanol poisoning. From February 19, 2020 through April 27, 2020, the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic rapidly expanded in Iran, and has been associated with 90,481 confirmed cases and 5710 confirmed deaths. Secondary to misinformation about the potential for alcohol to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, there has also been a significant escalation in methanol-related morbidity and mortality, with over 5000 people poisoned and over 500 confirmed deaths for the same period from February through April 2020. In some provinces, the case-fatality rate of methanol poisoning was higher than that from COVID-19. The high morbidity and mortality associated with methanol poisoning preceding and exacerbated by COVID-19 highlight the potential population level health impacts of the implementation of evidence-based education and harm reduction strategies focused on alcohol use across Iran.
Keywords: Iran alcohol policy methanol poisoning prevention public health models
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Alcoholalcohol
Metadata
LocationUnited States
FromELSEVIER SCIENCE INC

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