Video: Peanut allergies death

updated 11/28/2005 8:20:40 PM ET 2005-11-29T01:20:40

A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a peanut butter snack, hospital officials said Monday.

Christina Desforges died in a Quebec hospital Wednesday after doctors were unable to treat her allergic reaction to the kiss the previous weekend.

Desforges, who lived in Saguenay, about 155 miles north of Quebec City, was almost immediately given a shot of adrenaline, a standard tool for treating the anaphylactic shock brought on by a peanut allergy, officials said.

An autopsy was being performed. Dr. Nina Verreault, an allergist at the Chicoutimi Hospital in Saguenay, declined to comment on the case.

The symptoms of peanut allergy can include hives, plunging blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat, which can block breathing.

Peanut allergies have been rising in recent decades. The reason remains unclear but one study found that baby creams or lotions with peanut oil may cause children to develop allergies later in life.

About 1.5 million Americans are severely allergic to even the smallest trace of peanuts and peanut allergies account for 50 to 100 deaths in the United States each year. Canadian figures were not immediately available.

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