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CHP investigates case of mad honey poisoning
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 22) investigating a case of mad honey poisoning, and reminded the public to buy honey from a reliable source or apiary.

     The 28-year-old male patient developed bradycardia, hypotension, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting around 2.5 hours after consuming honey on December 17. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the same day and was admitted for treatment. The patient has been in a stable condition and was discharged on December 19. His clinical diagnosis was mad honey poisoning.

     Grayanotoxin was detected in the honey remnant and the patient's urine sample upon testing.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient brought the home-made honey from Nepal. Investigations are ongoing.

     "Mad honey poisoning is caused by ingestion of honey containing grayanotoxins derived from plants belonging to the Ericaceae family, including rhododendrons. Grayanotoxins 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 to take heed of the following preventive advice:

•  Buy honey from a reliable source or apiary;
•  Discard honey with a bitter or astringent taste - grayanotoxin-containing honey may cause a burning sensation in the throat; and
•  Pay special attention to honey from Nepal and the Black Sea region of Turkey as there have been grayanotoxin poisoning cases connected with honey from these areas.
Ends/Thursday, December 22, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:40
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