Poisonous Mushrooms

By William Kimanzi

Three children died after eating poisonous mushrooms in Bamba, Ganze Constituency, and two others are still receiving treatment at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital. According to the children’s mother, she had gone to the farm when her sons looked for the mushrooms, cooked and ate them. The children later started complaining of stomach cramps and were taken to a healthcare centre in Bamba.

With its alluring appearance, boasting a smooth, bell-shaped cap adorned in green, yellow, or white hues, this mushroom effortlessly captures the attention of those who venture into the wilderness. Its elegant stature and subtle fragrance seem to beckon explorers, and tragically, many have fallen prey to the temptation of plucking this deceptively beautiful mushroom for culinary experimentation.

Beyond its enchanting exterior lies a lethal secret – the death cap harbours deadly amatoxins, highly toxic substances that can severely harm the liver, kidneys, and other vital organs. Astonishingly, the initial poisoning symptoms may not surface immediately, confounding both victims and medical professionals. Early signs, such as gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhoea, may mimic common food poisoning, leading to potential misdiagnoses. However, unbeknownst to the victim, the toxic amatoxins stealthily infiltrate the body, precipitating a rapid and irreversible deterioration, often culminating in organ failure and, in the worst cases, death.

As soon as you suspect Amanita poisoning, seek immediate medical help. Time is of the essence in treating this type of poisoning, so do not delay making the call.

Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation