Four children are poisoned by eating poisonous mushrooms; three of them died

Guatemala.- Three children died after eating poisonous mushrooms and one more fights for his life in the San Marcos Hospital, Guatemala. They went out looking for edible mushrooms, cooked them and ate them while their parents were at work.

The events occurred in the village of El Porvenir, located in the municipality of Comitancillo, San Marcos, on June 20, when the four minors were admitted to the San Marcos hospital after consuming the mushrooms.

The children who lost their lives were identified by the local media as Blanca, Dayana and Celso Anderson; who were three, seven and eleven years old, respectively. While her little sister, nine years old, Leticia, continues to fight for her life.

Alfredo Longo Calderón, director of the San Marcos hospital, declared for local media that the minor is in a delicate state of health, since she has hemorrhages in the intestinal tract and has signs of liver failure. The health specialist indicated that he cannot venture to give a prognosis for Leticia.

Blanca and Dayana lost their lives in less than 24 hours after consuming the mushrooms. Their bodies were watched over by the community of El Porvenir, while their older brothers fought for their lives. However, Celso, the oldest of the brothers, lost the battle last Thursday, June 23.

Given this unfortunate event, the Guatemalan health authorities urged the population to refrain from eating wild mushrooms, as there are high rates of intoxication in the country due to the consumption of these fungi.

Biologist chemist Azdriel Betancourth told Prensa Libre that there are a hundred edible mushrooms in Guatemala, but 31 species are highly poisonous.

“It is a bit complicated to distinguish between those that are edible and toxic, because there is no specific characteristic, they are very similar to the eye. There is no way other than ancestral knowledge, or acquired knowledge that is the only thing that is going to tell us if it is toxic or edible,” he explained.

Therefore, he recommended not consuming mushrooms if you are not sure that they are edible.

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It is worth mentioning that the municipality of Comitancillo, San Marcos, is mostly inhabited by people belonging to the Mam ethnic group. However, about 60 percent of the population of this locality face extreme problem and malnutrition. It is also one of the places where the migratory phenomenon exists the most.