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Poisonous Mushrooms Kill Five in Mexico

July 4, 2005

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) _ Five people have died after eating poisonous mushrooms in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas over the past week, doctors and hospital officials said on Monday.

Mushroom poisoning occurs sporadically among Chiapas’ Indian communities, who harvest wild mushrooms as heavy summer rains arrive.

Poisonings have been reported in three separate incidents in recent days in the area of San Cristobal Las Casas, 460 miles southeast of Mexico City.

A 2-year-old boy died and a dozen more were sickened after a family meal in a small Indian community north of San Cristobal on Friday.

Three people were in critical condition and six were in serious condition on Monday at a hospital in San Cristobal, said hospital representative Eleazi Ramos.

Three others refused to be transported to the hospital from Polho, a reclusive settlement dominated by Zapatista rebels.

On Wednesday, a woman and her 10-year-old daughter died hours after eating wild mushrooms in the town of Copainala, Ramos said. And two other people died in San Cristobal on June 27 after a mushroom meal.

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