“Familial venoms”: a thallium intoxication cluster
Thallium intoxication is a rare but life-threatening event, especially in Europe, where it is mostly due to intentional poisoning. It is treatable if diagnosed before irreversible organ damage . We aim to describe a series of eight patients with thallotoxicosis. They were purposefully intoxicated by a 27-year-old household member, the nephew of the index case, through contaminated water. Thallium salts are indeed colourless, odourless, tasteless and water-soluble, and symptom onset is delayed, making diagnosis a challenge [2, 3, 4]. Thallium is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, owing to its physicochemical resemblance to potassium, with extensive deep-compartment distribution. Target cells are within the nervous system, muscles, and heart and later skin and annexes, where it leads to cellular energy failure .
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Conflicts of interest
None of the authors have any potential conflict of interest associated with this study.
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