Natalie Giorgi spit out the rice-crispies treat as soon as she tasted peanuts. Her father — who is a doctor — was on hand with a supply of epi-pens, and emergency medical support was on the scene; but nothing could save this precious child, whose main interest in life was gymnastics. Identified for the first time yesterday, by the Sheriff’s Department in El Dorado County California, as the teen who had succumbed to this severe allergic reaction, Natalie had made a colorful laniard earlier in the day and had been enjoying an annual excursion with her family to Camp Sacramento.
In an interview with KCRA in Sacramento, the Giorgi’s family friend Kelly Brothers — who was also there for the annual multi-family camping trip — explained that within 20 minutes after taking a bite of the rice-crispies treat, Nataie experienced vomiting and the respiratory emergency of anaphalactic shock, which her father then treated with three EpiPens.
An EpiPen is and auto-Injector that contain a single dose of epinephrine, which is injected into the outer thigh; and is meant for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions, to be followed immediately by emergency medical treatment.
Introducing the second edition of his book in 2008, “The Peanut Allergy Answer Book,” (first published in 2001), Michael C. Young writes:
The incidence of peanut allergy has doubled in the past five years and continues to increase so the impact of this medical problem, particularly in young children, is enormous.
A more recent book, “‘The Peanut Allergy Epidemic,” by Heather Fraser, with an introduction by the pediatrician Janet Levatin, asks why the peanut allergy epidemic seems to be found primarily in Western cultures. Noting that more than four million people in the U.S. are affected by peanut allergies, while in countries where peanuts are a staple ingredient in the food culture, such as India, there are seldom any reported cases. Heather Fraser traces the history of the peanut allergy, questions why it has deveoped in American children and looking for some prospective correlation to other factors such as medical and economic variables, and compares the epidemic in the U.S. with other countries such as Canada and the UK, and others.
It has been suggested by some physicians that there may be some connection between the way the peanuts are dry-roasted in western countries, and some research has been pursued by investigators at the National Institutes of Health here in the U.S. to examine the effects of various methods of preparation.