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'Death Cap' mushrooms behind death of six in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, May 9: The poisonous mushrooms that killed six people at a remote village in Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills district have been identified as Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the 'Death Cap', a senior official said on Saturday.

Six people, including a 14-year-old girl, of Lamin village along the India-Bangladesh border in Amlarem civil sub-division died after consuming wild mushrooms they collected from a nearby forest late last month.

The wild mushroom has been identified as Amanita phalloides and is hepatotoxic as it directly affects the liver, state Director of Health Services (MI) Dr Aman War told PTI.

He said it has been established after an investigation that the cause of the deaths was the poisonous mushrooms.

At least 18 persons from three families were taken ill after consuming the mushrooms.

The symptoms after consuming the poisonous fungus include vomiting, headache and unconsciousness, the senior doctor said.

Most of those taken ill, including a pregnant woman, have already recovered and gone home. Therefore, people can survive as it depends on the amount of poison that you have consumed. Only one person was unaffected, maybe he did not consume much, he said.

Three people are still undergoing treatment and are recovering. Two of them are at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) and one in Woodland Hospital, Dr War said.

He said the health department can only appeal to the people, especially those in the rural areas, to refrain from eating wild mushrooms, while the horticulture department should take measures to create awareness. - PTI

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