Ma Yau Tong woman poisoned by wild mushrooms

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Consumption of this mushrooms, known as ‘Powder-cap Amanita’ has caused liver failure, says experts. Photo: Atlas of Poisonous Plants in Hong Kong

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a recent suspected food poisoning case related to the consumption of wild mushrooms, and urged the public not to pick and eat wild mushrooms.

The case involves a 53-year-old female, who developed abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea about 13 hours after consuming wild mushrooms at home on 13 May. She sought medical attention at the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital today and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital for further management. She is in a stable condition.

Initial investigations revealed that the patient picked the wild mushrooms that she consumed from the roadside in Ma Yau Tong, Sai Kung, on 13 May. The CHP’s investigation is ongoing.

“Members of the public should not pick wild mushrooms for consumption as it is difficult to distinguish edible mushroom species from inedible ones,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

“Mushroom poisoning is generally acute. Common presentations include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain appearing shortly after ingestion. Depending on the mushroom species, patients may also have other symptoms like profuse sweating, hallucinations, coma or other neurological symptoms, as well as liver failure. Death may result in severe cases,” he added.

“If mushroom poisoning is suspected, the patient should seek immediate medical attention and bring along any available remnant for identification,” the spokesman said.

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