By Thandeka Moyo
Two members of a Filabusi family in Matabeleland South province have died while six others have been hospitalised after consuming poisonous mushrooms bringing to 13 the number of mushroom deaths in just nine days.
Eleven of the dead are members of a Mberengwa family who consumed the poisonous mushrooms on Tuesday last week.The 11th Mberengwa family member died yesterday afternoon at Mpilo Central Hospital.
Mpilo clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said yesterday that one adult and a toddler from a Filabusi family died while five others from the same family have been hospitalised after consuming poisonous mushrooms.
He said one of those hospitalised was toddler admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Mpilo while four other family members are being treated at Filabusi District Hospital.
“We now have another mushroom poisoning incident from Filabusi and this time seven family members consumed the poisonous mushrooms and two have died. One of them died while being transferred to this hospital while the other died after being admitted. We are attending to a toddler battling for life in the ICU,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He said the family was first taken to Filabusi District Hospital where four members are still admitted.
“What I gathered from the family is that they have always eaten the same mushrooms over the years. It is worrying that we continue to witness unnecessary loss of lives due to these mushrooms,” said Dr Ngwenya.A vendor sorts out mushrooms for sale at a market in Bulawayo yesterday
He warned members of the public against eating or buying wild mushrooms as mushroom poisoning leads to liver, brain or kidney failure.
“People should only consume commercial mushrooms which are safe. We discourage people from picking and eating wild mushrooms as some of the musrooms are poisonous and can cause organ failure” he said.
Dr Ngwenya said two of the three Mberengwa family members who were still admitted at the hospital have since been discharged.
“We are now left with one child who is still under observation,” said Dr Ngwenya.
According to police, Mr Tenious Shoko (45) from Mberengwa sent his 16-year-old daughter to pick some mushrooms for relish on Tuesday last week.
The 16-year-old prepared the mushrooms which were consumed by the whole family leading to the death of 11 family members. The Chronicle