MS Adopts "Allergy" Law

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A new state law makes it possible for someone having an allergic reaction to receive emergency treatment from the first medical official on the scene.

The law requires emergency medical technicians, paramedics and first respondents to be trained to give epinephrine -- a drug that treats allergic reactions to food and insect bites.

Emergency Medical Services Director Jim Craig said two people died after suffering allergic reactions last year in Mississippi.

The law comes about through a campaign by the food allergy and anaphylaxis network of Fairfax, Virginia.

The group says the law will allow emergency medical personnel to save lives since at least 6 million people suffer from severe food allergies nationwide.

Critics say the law will put some first respondents in an uncomfortable position since they are not as experienced in giving medication as EMTs and paramedics. The new law goes into effect July 1.