A victim of food poisoning is treated at Lai Chau province’s General Hospital. (Photo: vov.vn)
 
Lai Chau (VNA) - At least seven people died following a suspected case of food poisoning in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau on February 13, the provincial People’s Committee reported.

The committee also reported 12 others were hospitalised, four of them treated at Lai Chau province’s General Hospital, and the rest at Phong Tho district’s hospital.   

The initial investigation showed that on February 10, a 60-year-old man from an ethnic minority, died suddenly after consuming rice and home-made alcohol at a family party in Ma Ly Chai commune, Phong Tho district. He was complaining of a headache and nausea.  

Many villagers attended the three-day funeral. As of February 13 evening, a number of attendees complained of similar symptoms. Seven people have died.

According to witnesses, victims drank home-made alcohol and ate Chinese-made candy bought at the local Si Lo Lau market.       

Forensic examinations in Lai Chau province have revealed the cause of the deaths to have been food poisoning.

“All victims show the same symptoms of headaches, vomiting, and mydriasis,” a forensic investigator said.

The Ministry of Health’s Food Safety Department Director Nguyen Thanh Phong said a health expert team from Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital’s Poison Control Centre was moving to Lai Chau province for further investigation.

Doctor Do Van Giang, Director of Lai Chau province’s General Hospital said all patients who had not died were recovering gradually, but more people with similar signs of food poisoning from the commune were being transferred to the hospital for observation.

The hospital was testing samples from dead victims to determine the specific cause of the incident.-VNA