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Woman dies of poisonous mushrooms

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OAKLAND, Calif., Nov 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An Oakland, Calif., woman died and a man and two women were hospitalized after they ate poisonous "death cap" wild mushrooms collected on Thanksgiving.

Yu-Chin Lai, 70, died Monday at Highland Hospital in Oakland, but her 76-year-old husband has been released from the hospital, reported the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday.

The mushrooms, with a white stalk and a wide smooth cap with yellow or greenish tints, were picked by the two women friends and they gave them to the couple. The four knew each other from Taiwan. One of the women is in critical condition and the other has been improving, a family friend said.

The four ate the mushrooms for lunch and dinner Thursday. By night, all four were ill, and Friday they visited doctors. Saturday, one of the women went to the emergency room and after the doctor learned that she had consumed mushrooms, he admitted the others for treatment.

Mushroom poisonings are rare but most often occur with recent immigrants who mistake toxic mushrooms for the harmless ones that grow in their countries of origin.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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