Fish fumes blamed for allergy death of Brooklyn boy

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Fish fumes blamed for allergy death of Brooklyn boy

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The boy's grandmother was cooking cod (stock image) when he became ill

Authorities investigating the death of an 11-year-old boy in Brooklyn are said to be looking into whether fish cooking nearby could have been to blame.

Cameron Jean-Pierre, who had a fish allergy, fell unconscious on New Year's Day at his grandmother's house.

An official cause of death from a medical examiner is still pending.

But his family have told US media they believe he died after a severe asthma attack was prompted by fish protein he inhaled in the air.

The boy's mother, Jody Pottingr, said her son suddenly became ill while visiting his grandmother's house, where a traditional Caribbean cod dish had been cooking.

"They thought that he left… I guess they forgot something at the house and went back, and he went in the house and then he inhaled the fish," she told ABC News.

His mother says Cameron was first diagnosed with the allergy at school, after becoming sick after a lunch.

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Ms Pottingr said she wants his story to serve as a warning to other parents whose children have allergies.

Image Copyright @KRDONC13 @KRDONC13 Report
Twitter post by @KRDONC13: "I just want whatever happened to my family not to happen to someone else," Jody Pottingr, the mother of Cameron Jean-Pierre, told ABC News on Thursday. Image Copyright @KRDONC13 @KRDONC13 Report

Cameron's father, Steven Jean-Pierre, told the Washington Post newspaper that he gave his son a nebuliser device when he began to wheeze and gasp, but it failed to restore his breathing.

"My son's last words were 'Daddy I love you, daddy I love you,'" he told ABC7 New York, while crying.

"He gave me two kisses, two kisses on my face. He said, 'I feel like I'm dying.' I said, 'Don't say that. What are you talking about. Don't say that.'"

When police arrived they found the 11-year-old unconscious and unresponsive. He was later declared dead at a nearby hospital.

Image copyright Google Street View
Image caption Cameron was rushed to Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn

The US-based Food Allergy Research and Education group say about 15 million Americans, including six million children, are estimated to have food allergies.

Fish is one of the eight most-common allergens required by federal law on food labelling.

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Although direct consumption is the most obvious source of risk from foods, the American College of Asthma and Immunology recommends people with fish allergies should also avoid areas where it is cooking, because proteins may be released into the air.

US reality television star Bethenny Frankel, who also has a severe fish allergy, revealed on Thursday a flight she was on was forced to turn around because of bass being cooked on board.

She shared her experience in a series of posts and said she had warned the airline in advance.

Image Copyright @Bethenny @Bethenny Report
Twitter post by @Bethenny: I don’t care about the meal. Being trapped in a cabin w no windows w cooking fish is a death trap. Image Copyright @Bethenny @Bethenny Report
Image Copyright @Bethenny @Bethenny Report
Twitter post by @Bethenny: To clarify  some allergens are transmitted by touch & air. Fish is one & is fatal. The more exposure to them, the more susceptible. It’s not like an immunity thing where more exposure means less susceptible. It’s opposite. I’ve always kept it quiet but that’s over now. Image Copyright @Bethenny @Bethenny Report

Ms Frankel described the environment on-board as a potential "death trap" for sufferers.

She shared the story of Cameron's death to her 1.6m followers as a warning on the dangers of airborne allergens.

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