KZN Emergency Medical Services were called in to treat the family who ate the poisoned mushrooms.
Paramedics confirmed that the neighbours found the family after they had eaten a dinner on Monday of wild mushrooms that they had found.
Emergency services in the Ilembe district treated two boys, aged two and 17, and three women, one aged 79, on Monday afternoon, spokesman Robert Mckenzie said in a statement. The family from Ndwedwe, north-west of Tongaat – was taken to Osindisweni Hospital for further treatment.
“Initial investigations by the paramedics and neighbours are that the family had eaten a dinner and that wild mushrooms that they had found growing had been used as ingredients in the meal.”
“Paramedics had to work frantically to provide the required emergency medical care, along the dark rural road that the patients had been brought to from their house down a valley by neighbours.”
The whole family required advanced life support, before they were taken to Osindisweni Hospital. KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health spokesman, Sam Mkhwanazi, said on Wednesday that the family were in a stable condition.
“The case took several hours to complete due to its rural location, the condition of the patients and the condition of the roads which lead to the area,” Mckenzie said.
He warned people against eating wild mushrooms. Tests were being done to determine what sort of mushrooms the family had eaten. He urged people to eat mushrooms from established retailers only.
In 2012, six people died of mushroom poisoning, four of them members of the Mkhize family of Clermont, Durban. They died within days of each other after eating a mushroom curry. Bheki Mkhize and his siblings, Nozipho, 24, Nombulelo, 22, and Nombulelo’s 1-year-old child, Emihle, as well as Bheki’s girlfriend, Xoli Buthelezi, died. Bheki had gathered the mushrooms from a field in Mariannhill. Four others had also eaten wild mushrooms, but only one of them died.
The recent rains had enabled mushrooms to grow, and that Amanita phalloides mushrooms were the most common poisonous varieties. These mushrooms were easily mistaken for the common Meadow mushroom which is edible. Poisonous mushrooms normally grew near pine and oak trees.
If you suspect that someone has eaten poisoned mushrooms, here is what you need to do:
* Report to the nearest hospital without delay.
* If possible, carry a sample of the mushroom with them.
* Be prepared to describe the source of the mushrooms, sequence of events before eating them and the symptoms they are experiencing.