13 die in 4 Assam districts within a week after eating wild mushrooms
Following severe reactions triggered after eating the mushrooms, the victims were admitted to Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh district, the official said.
Thirteen persons, including a child, have died in four districts of Upper Assam within a week after consuming poisonous wild mushrooms, a health official privy to the matter said on Wednesday.
Following severe reactions triggered after eating the mushrooms, the victims were admitted to Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh district, the official added.
“Till Tuesday, we had admitted 39 patients who were suffering from multiple ailments after eating these wild and poisonous mushrooms. In the past 8-10 days, 13 of them, including a child, have died,” AMCH superintendent Dr Prasanta Dihingia said.
“All the deaths happened due to liver and kidney failure in the victims. Presently, one patient is admitted at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital; six others are also admitted in the hospital. Nineteen others have been discharged after treatment,” he added.
The patients belonged to Tinsukia, Charaideo, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts. Most of them belong to the tea-garden community and consumed the mushrooms at different places on separate occasions, Dihingia said.
“We keep getting such cases and deaths every year around this time. After the rains, a lot of wild mushrooms grow in several places and people who are unable to distinguish between the edible and poisonous ones, consume them,” he added.
“Most of the victims are uneducated or semi-literate. There is a need for NGOs and other organisations to spread awareness on this issue to prevent such deaths,” Dihingia said.
Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu said: “On our part, we have been carrying out awareness drives and teams of health officials have been sent specifically to the tea garden areas to educate people on which mushrooms are edible. More such things need to be done at the micro level so that everyone gets to know about the danger of consuming wild mushrooms.”
(with agency inputs)