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Cough Syrup: It wasn't the cough that carried them off. . .
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good cough, must be in want of a cough syrup - even though it is also universally acknowledged that such a remedy is useless, albeit benign (writes our correspondent Jane Austen, Bath newsdesk)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good cough, must be in want of a cough syrup - even though it is also universally acknowledged that such a remedy is useless, albeit benign (writes our correspondent Jane Austen, Bath newsdesk).

Sadly the same cannot be said for a cough syrup that has been on sale in Panama. At the last count it had killed 22 people.

The syrup, which was prepared in a government-run laboratory, contained diethylene glycol (DEG). DEG has excellent solvent properties, which make it useful in cleaners, cement processing, heat transfer fluids and adhesives. Its usefulness doesn't extend to cough remedies, however, a fact that is also universally acknowledged everywhere except Panama.

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2006; 333: 822).

E-news broadcast 26 October 2006 No.304 [Subscribe]


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