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CHP investigates suspected case of grayanotoxin poisoning
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 25) investigating a suspected case of grayanotoxin poisoning, and reminded the public not to pick and eat wild plants.

     The female patient, aged 50 with good past health, developed dizziness, blurred vision and shortness of breath about an hour after consuming suspected rhododendrons which she picked during hiking at Devil's Peak, Lei Yue Mun, on April 22. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of United Christian Hospital on the same day and was found to have bradycardia (abnormally slow heart rate) and hypotension. She was discharged on April 23 after observation.

     The clinical diagnosis was suspected grayanotoxin poisoning and she has been in a stable condition. Her hiking collateral who also consumed the suspected rhododendrons has remained asymptomatic so far.

     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.

     "Grayanotoxins are derived from plants belonging to the Ericaceae family, including rhododendrons, and are neurotoxins which can affect nerves and muscles. Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, hypersalivation and paraesthesia shortly after ingestion. In severe cases, hypotension, bradycardia or shock may occur," a spokesman for the CHP explained.

     Members of the public are reminded:
  • Do not collect and eat wild plants from parks or the countryside; and
  • If poisoning due to consumption of wild plants is suspected, seek immediate medical attention and bring along any available remnant for identification.
Ends/Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:04
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