An 11-year-old boy in Brooklyn died on New Year's Day, apparently because of an allergy so severe, just the smell of fish cooking in his home was enough to set it off.
Without describing his symptoms, Camron Jean-Paul's family told the NY Daily News that the meal they were preparing seemed to trigger the boy's known fish allergy. Although they intervened with some kind of "medical device," he still passed out, and his family called 911. Around 7:25 p.m., police arrived at Jean-Paul's 82nd Street home in Canarsie and found him unconscious. EMS transported him to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The NYPD did not confirm the cause of death, noting that the City Medical Examiner continues to investigate. According to the NY Post, however, authorities do not currently suspect foul play.
Although very rare, some people do experience such acute sensitivity to certain foods that even smelling or being near them can cue an allergic reaction. According to a 2009 paper published in Clinical and Molecular Allergy, inhaling food particles can create an asthmatic reaction, cause a rash, and even translate to anaphylaxis. We have reached out to the City Medical Examiner's office for additional comment and will update if we hear back.