15 people die of mushroom poisoning in Zimbabwe

Friday March 9 2018

Wild mushrooms.

Wild mushrooms. At least 15 people have died of mushroom poisoning in Zimbabwe. FOTOSEARCH 

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At least 15 people have died of mushroom poisoning in Zimbabwe with one family losing four members, officials said on Friday.

The latest victims are two children from one family who died on Thursday while receiving treatment.

According to media reports, seven children and their grandmother from Matabeleland South province ate poisonous mushrooms on Saturday, leading to the death of one child on Tuesday and the second one the following day.

The grandmother and three other children are still hospitalised.

“Currently we have three members (of one family) admitted, two are stable and one of them is critical in the intensive care unit,” Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, a clinical director at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo, southwest Zimbabwe, was quoted saying by the state-run Herald newspaper.

The doctor said the children are aged three to nine.

Last week, 11 people from different families in neighbouring southern Midlands province, died after eating poisonous mushrooms.

Poor Zimbabweans often harvest mushrooms during the rainy season to use as relish with the staple thick porridge, known locally as sadza.

Dr Ngwenya warned villagers against consuming wild mushrooms.