Three children die, seven others admitted after consuming poisonous mushrooms

Three children have died after consuming poisonous mushroom soup. [Marion Kithi, Standard]

Three children in Katendewa village in Bamba, Kilifi County have died after consuming poisonous mushroom soup.

Seven others are currently admitted at the Kilifi Referral Hospital with severe vomiting and general body malaise.

The children, all from one family, gathered the mushroom from a nearby forest and prepared it before consuming it, not knowing it was not fit for human consumption.

The children, aged between three years and thirteen, passed away due to fulminant hepatic failure as a result of eating the poisonous mushrooms.

The hospital's medical superintendent Dr Malik Ul-Ashar says one of the children died at Bamba Sub County hospital on Sunday, another one succumbed en route to the Kilifi Referral Hospital and the third one succumbed on Monday at the hospital.

''We received a call from Bamba hospital that there were some children that had been taken there with severe vomiting and they needed to be managed at the referral and we accepted the referral, and upon taking a history of the incident we realised that they are a group of children approximately ten that they had consumed locally growing mushrooms,” he said.

He further says five children are currently receiving treatment at the general ward and two children at the ICU.

"We took samples of the mushrooms with the assistance of Pwani University and we found that the type of mushrooms is likely to produce aflatoxins called amatoxins which are hyper toxins," said Dr Malik.

Mildred Santa, Kilifi Referral Hospital matron, says the kids have been ill since Friday night.

''On Saturday morning, they went to a chemist and they were given some medicine and an injection, they went back home but at night their condition worsened,” she said.

Christine Furaha, who is pregnant, is also one of the victims who is currently receiving treatment at the Kilifi referral hospital.

She says after eating the mushroom, she only experienced severe heartburn.

''On Friday afternoon, the kids went into the forest and harvested the mushrooms, my sister in law prepared them and we ate them with ugali, ''she said.

Furaha further says they ate on Friday at lunchtime and in the evening one of the children started having diarrhoea and vomiting.

She further says it wasn't the first time the family ate the mushrooms. She, has however, advised other parents to be careful about eating mushrooms.