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Jun 18, 2014 / 09:43

Food poisoning fatalities on the increase

The Ministry of Health`s Vietnam Food Administration has announced that 24 people have died from food poisoning nationwide so far this year.

Among the deaths, 12 were linked to poisonous mushrooms and the 12 other cases were due to other causes including blowfish, surf clam and cicada, said Deputy Director of the administration Nguyen Thanh Phong.

The death toll was also 41% higher than the same period last year, Phong added.

In addition, the number of food poisoning cases has increased 15.4% from 2013, he said.

Phong remarked that 2,084 food poisoning cases have been reported as of June 10.

The health sector has also launched efforts to bring the situation under control, he said.

The latest case involving the consumption of poisonous mushrooms resulted in seven family members being taken to Dien Bien General Hospital after consuming green-spored parasol mushrooms (Chlorophyllum molybdites) in the northern mountainous Dien Bien Province's Tan Thanh Ward on June 13.

The youngest patient was only 27 months old.


The administration said the patients had been hospitalised, showing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

After administering first aid at the local hospital, the patients were moved to Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital's Anti-poison Centre for further treatment.

The patients, now in stable condition, are expected to leave the hospital in the coming days.

Deputy Director of the administration Nguyen Hung Long ordered the provincial Food Division to raise awareness of the mushrooms among local residents to avoid more poisonings taking place.

The mushroom, which is greenish with a cap 5 – 15 centimetres in diameter and stalk 10 – 30 centimetres in length, is highly poisonous. If consumed, it induces vomiting and diarrhoea, and can lead to death.

The mushroom often grows in areas surrounding buffalo fields, on the grass or in maize fields.

The administration strongly advised people to avoid eating mushrooms that they do not recognise or know well.

People should be taken to the nearest health centre for treatment if they show symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea after eating mushrooms, it said.