The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Calls to the Mississippi Poison Control Center
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to change human exposure patterns to potentially hazardous substances including cleaning products and pharmaceuticals. Purpose: To characterize the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on calls received at the Mississippi Poison Control Center during the pandemic as compared to pre-pandemic years. Methods: We queried the Mississippi Poison Control Center Toxicall database for total calls, calls related to bleach, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers, calls related to ivermectin exposures, calls related to hydroxychloroquine exposures, calls related to COVID-19, and suspected suicide calls. Results: During the COVID-19 pandemic increases were seen in calls for exposures to disinfectants and cleaning products, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, while no changes were seen in overall call volume or suspected suicide calls. Conclusion: In Mississippi, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with spikes in exposures to disinfectants and cleaning products, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin.