Toxic Mushroom Kills 6 Farmers

Six farmers in East China's Jiangxi Province have died due to mushroom poisoning, while some 5,000 others who also consumed suspect mushrooms are out of danger due to the prompt and highly effective emergency medical treatment provided by local hospitals, according to China Daily.

Yongxiu County sources said it was one of the biggest cases of toadstool poisoning ever reported in the province.

Four cases of the same kind of poisoning have also been reported in Jiujiang County in the same area of the province.

Matan villager Peng Caixiang, 52, died early this month five days after taking the wild fungus she picked. She was the first victim, and five others followed.

"I did not feel too uncomfortable on the day I ate it," said a patient who refused to be identified. "However, I began to vomit and I had diarrhoea, together with stomach ache and dizziness."

The poisonous mushroom not only harms people's livers and kidneys, but even worse, it makes the heart and blood vessels prostrate, explained Gan Hui, director of the county's bureau of health.

Residents in the county used to pick mushrooms in May. Because of unusually muggy and humid weather in August, poisonous ones grew together with innocuous ones, and they look alike, said Dai Jinlin, an official from the county's local government.

"The poisonous mushrooms farmers ate in late August are one of the most severe mushroom series, that is, Egao fungus," said Professor Zhang Zhiguang of Hunan University, who rushed to the scene after learning of the epidemic from the Internet.

Zhang added that it is the first time he has known this sort of mushroom in Jiangxi Province. "We still don't have an antidote to fight the 20 toxins in the mushroom," he said.

It is expected that this type of poisonous mushroom will appear again next year, according to Gan.

Similar cases have been reported in East China's Fujian Province and Central China's Hunan Province.

People's Daily Online ---