China: Around The Nation

Chinese family of seven take ill after eating poisonous wild mushrooms at Mid-Autumn family dinner

Fungi brought back from holiday trip in Yunnan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 2:52pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 2:55pm

Seven people from a family in eastern China were rushed to hospital on Thursday night after they ate poisonous mushrooms brought back from a holiday.

Li Dengzhong, one of the family members, said his sister had brought the mushrooms back to Ningbo, Zhejiang province, from her holiday in southwestern Yunnan province, local newspaper Xian Dai Jin Bao reported.

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Li said they saved the mushrooms for a family dinner to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and that neither he nor his sister thought of checking whether the items were safe for consumption.

But half an hour after the family ate a dish prepared using those mushrooms, “I was drooling and felt quite sick”, Li said.

“I almost collapsed after going to the toilet for too many times,” he added.

The doctor who treated Li and his six other family members said they likely fell ill from eating the mushrooms, which turned out to be poisonous.

Four of the family members were later transferred to a bigger hospital in Zhejiang for better treatment, while the remaining three stayed at the same hospital, the report said.

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The report said two family members were in stable condition as of press time, but did not mention how the other five were faring.

October is the prime season for poisonous wild mushrooms to sprout, according to a Ningbo botanist.

Tips for identifying such inedible fungi – such as that only brightly coloured ones are toxic while plain-looking ones are fine – are inaccurate, the botanist said.

China is home to some 500 types of poisonous mushrooms, among them about 20 are deadly, the report said.

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