Local News

Seven poisoned from eating toxic mushrooms


SEVEN residents were in life-threatening condition after eating mushrooms they found in the wild last month. All of the patients were treated at Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital, and two of them remain in critical condition, the Shenzhen Evening News reported.

Five of the patients were from the same family. A man surnamed Lin went hiking on Paotai Mountain in Pingshan District on April 29 with his father and picked some white mushrooms to bring back home for dinner.

Although Lin suspected that eating the mushrooms might be risky, he believed his father who said that he knew these mushrooms were okay to eat.

Lin’s parents, his wife and 5-year-old daughter ate the white mushrooms that night, and all of them suffered from vomiting and diarrhea the next morning.

The family members went to a local hospital in Pingshan for treatment, but their physical conditions worsened as they developed more severe symptoms, including dizziness and difficulty breathing.

The four adults were then transferred to Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital for emergency treatment, while the girl was sent to Shenzhen Children’s Hospital.

Doctors at the hospital confirmed that the family had consumed an extremely poisonous kind of mushroom called Amanita. Luckily, the family had removed the upper and most toxic part of the mushrooms before cooking them, which saved their lives.

According to Li Taihui, a researcher with Guangdong Microorganism Research Institute, the upper umbrella-shaped cap of the fatal Amanita is more toxic than its lower part, and the family only consumed a small amount of the lower part.

The family are all in stable condition at the moment. The daughter is still in the ICU, but is getting better.

Hemofiltration and dialysis are the key methods for treating food poisoning caused by toxic mushrooms, but it also costs a lot of money. The family has needed to spend 30,000 to 40,000 yuan (US$4,718 to 6,290) on the treatment every day.

After learning about the family’s situation, residents living in their community decided to donate money to help them. Approximately 70,000 yuan was raised from Lin’s friends, colleagues and residents in the community.

The community has also raised more than 100,000 yuan via online fund-raising platforms after sharing the family’s story.

Like the Lins, two other women who ate poisonous mushrooms are in a more critical condition as they consumed a larger amount.

According to the report, the two women picked some of the mushrooms while hiking on Fenghuang Mountain in Bao’an District on April 27. Although their companions warned them not to eat the mushrooms, the two women cooked them for dinner that night.

Soon after, they began suffering from diarrhea, but instead of going directly to a hospital, the women stayed at home and waited for their conditions to improve. When they could not bear it anymore, they went to a local hospital, but soon fell into comas.

The two patients were also transferred to the Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital for treatment, but one of them gave up on treatment and was sent back to her hometown by her family.

Another woman, Zhang Xianghong, is still hospitalized and her life is in danger. Zhang’s mother has come to Shenzhen from Sichuan Province to take care of her, but the family can hardly afford the costly treatment.

The researcher, Li, said that ingesting a total of 35 grams of the Amanita mushrooom can be fatal for an adult. He reminds residents to be extra cautious of wild mushrooms.

Since 2000, a total of 60 people have died after eating this kind of toxic mushroom in Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen.