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Mushroom poisoning alert: 16 have been killed
Updated: 2004-07-28 16:58

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday warned the general public to be on high alert against poisonous mushrooms, as 16 Chinese have died after eating different kinds of poisonous mushrooms this summer.

According to the fifth food hygiene early warning bulletin issued by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, mushroom poisoning has claimed 16 lives and left other 11 sick this summer.

China has more than 180 kinds of poisonous mushrooms, or poisonous fungus, over 30 of which are fatal. The clinical symptoms of mushroom poisoning include gastroenteritis, nerve poisoning, blood poisoning, visceral injury and dermatitis, according to the bulletin.

Since it is very hard for ordinary people to tell poisonous mushrooms from edible ones, mushroom poisoning accidents often occurred in families who pick or purchase wild mushrooms for dinner.

Mushroom poisoning is common in summer as intensive rainfall helps wild mushrooms grow fast. The Ministry of Health warned citizens not to pick and purchase any kind of wild mushroom in an effort to avoid food poisoning.

At the same time, the ministry required its subordinate departments to spread relevant food hygiene knowledge to the general public in time, so as to improve people's self-protection awareness.

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