An 11-year-old boy died on New Year's Eve apparently due to the smell of a fish being cooked at the family's relatives in Brooklyn.
Cameron Jean-Pierre, who had a history of allergy and asthma, suffered a severe form of an allergic reaction after he had inhaled fish vapor from cooked cods. The boy was rushed to the Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center but later was declared deceased.
Reaction From The Smell Of Fish Cooking
Cameron's family knew he was allergic to fish and peanuts. His father, Steven Jean-Pierre, said in an interview to a local TV station that Cameron would usually take nebulizer in an event of an asthma attack.
While the medication seemed to have worked initially, Steven said his son eventually felt hot then eventually became unconscious and unresponsive.
"My son's last words were 'Daddy, I love you, daddy, I love you. He gave me two kisses. Two kisses on my face," Steven recalled of his son's final moments.
The New York City medical examiner conducted an autopsy and results will be available in the next few weeks. However, experts anticipated that it was Cameron's allergy and asthma that resulted in his death.
Speaking to New York Times, Dr. Robert Wood, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that it is not the smell of the fish that triggered Cameron's allergic reaction. Rather, it was the proteins from the fish released on air through steam or vapor.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and fatal allergic reaction, which can happen when the body comes in contact with an amount of allergens to trigger hypersensitivity.
A study published in the journal Allergy and Asthma Proceedings hypersensitivity reactions due to inhalation of food particles are increasingly becoming a problem among children.
"Some children tolerate the food when it is eaten but they experience reactions to airborne food particles such as peanut, cow's milk, and fish," the researchers reported.
Families and healthcare providers are advised to conduct skin test, provocation test, serum IgE antibodies, and appropriate diagnostics and management strategies to prevent a worst-case scenario from happening.