NEW YORK CITY: An 11-year-old boy in New York died on Tuesday (Jan 1) after an allergic reaction his parents said was caused by the smell of fish being cooked.
Cameron Jean-Pierre had arrived at his grandmother's house in Brooklyn for a visit while she was cooking cod.
The boy, who was asthmatic and had a known allergy to seafood, started to wheeze after inhaling the smell of the fish cooking, his parents said.
His father Steven Jean-Pierre said he reached for Cameron's nebuliser machine – which he carried with him at all times – but it did not seem to help.
"I gave him the nebuliser, the machine, that he usually takes if something like this happens, so it was a normal situation," he told ABC News.
"But for some reason, he said it wasn't giving him enough air at the time.
“That’s when I called 911,” said Mr Jean-Pierre. He added that his son was gasping, saying: “I love you, Daddy. I love you. I feel like I’m dying.”
The boy lost consciousness and Mr Jean-Pierre performed CPR on him as they waited for the ambulance.
He was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The police said Cameron, a student at Theodore Schor Middle School, had "some type of reaction" to the seafood as the family prepared dinner, according to the ABC News report.
Cameron's mother, Ms Jody Pottingr, said: "We know that he's allergic to fish. When he was in kindergarten, they gave fish sticks at lunch one day and he threw up."
A doctor specialising in allergies and asthma at Mayo Clinic in Wisconsin told Washington Post that it is rare but possible to have an allergic reaction to steam or fumes produced by cooking seafood.
“Published research articles indicate fish protein can be detected in steam and fumes during cooking or processing. It is possible that a person who is exposed to cooking steam or fumes, especially in an enclosed space, could have an allergic reaction,” Dr Adela Taylor said.
“There are case reports of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, from inhalation of fumes from cooking fish, but it is a very rare presentation.”
Dr Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, a professor of paediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, told the newspaper that such a severe allergic reaction is "incredibly rare".
“You’d have to be very, very, very allergic,” she said.
A spokeswoman with the medical examiner's office in New York City said the cause of death has not yet been determined.