For representation only

Silchar: At least two persons, including a woman, died and seven others got sick after eating poisonous mushrooms in Assam’s Dima Hasao district last week.

Sources said the incident took place in 8 Kilo, a remote village in Umrangso, about 120km from Haflong town, on Monday evening (April 12) when nine people from three different families collected mushrooms from a jungle while returning from their workplace (a stone quarry), cooked it at home and consumed. On Tuesday, their health worsened as they started vomiting and experienced abnormal bowel movements.

Thereafter, they were taken to a community health centre in Umrangso and admitted for treatment. Considering the health condition of six people, they were shifted to Haflong civil hospital on Monday (April 18). One of them, Manik Kurmi (60) was declared brought dead at the hospital. Another person, Sujita Tamang (32) died on Tuesday. The other persons under treatment are Prem Bahadur Chetri (60), Soron Lama (22), Radha Kurmi (50) and Dimpy Kurmi (22). Three persons: Premlal Kurmi (24), Suraj Tamang (36), and Maya Lama (45) are under treatment at the Umrangso community health centre, the sources said.

One of the persons under treatment at the Haflong civil hospital said the mushroom they collected was white and looked edible. After they cooked and ate it on Tuesday, they started feeling uneasy immediately, following which they were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Haflong civil hospital’s superintendent Kalpana Kemprai confirmed to reporters on Tuesday about the deaths and said another patient (who had consumed mushrooms) was critical.

Earlier this month, at least 13 other people died, and 12 others fell ill after consuming wild poisonous mushrooms in Assam. The superintendent of Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh Prasanta Dihingia told reporters on April 14 that most of the people died while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Dihingia said 35 people belonging to the tea garden community from eastern Assam’s Charaideo, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, and Tinsukia districts were admitted to the AMCH after consuming mushrooms and fell sick. Of the 35 admitted, 13 died in the last 24 hours, Dihingia told reporters on April 14.

Northeast has, in the past few years, witnessed several incidents related to people dying and/or falling ill after consuming poisonous mushrooms. In May 2020, at least six people died at a remote village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district after eating wild mushrooms, later identified by experts as Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the “Death Cap”. Two persons – a woman and her 12-year-old son – died in a suspected case of mushroom poisoning in Bhandari town in the Wokha district of Nagaland in May 2020.

In July 2019, three family members, including two children, died after consuming mushrooms in Sihai Khullen village in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. Besides that, many people have fallen ill after eating poisonous mushrooms in different northeastern states over the last few years.

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