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FATAL HONEY POISONING IN SOUTHWEST CHINA: A CASE SERIES OF 31 CASES.

Abstract

Honey poisoning cases occur in southwestern China. In this case series, we attempted to determine the symptoms and causes of honey poisoning from 2007 to 2012 in southwestern China. We also conducted a quantitative melissopalynological analysis of honey samples. During the study period, 31 honey poisoning cases occurred in the study location, all during July to August. All the cases occurred after consuming at least 100 grams of honey. The most frequent symptoms were nausea and vomiting (100%), abdominal pain (90.3%), diarrhea (74.2%), palpitations (61.3%), dizziness (54.8%), chest congestion (48.4%) and dyspnea (48.4%). Severe cases developed oliguria/anuria, twitch, hematuria, ecchymosis or hematochezia. The median time from ingestion to onset of symptoms was 29 hours. Eight patients died (mortality rate: 25.8%). The pollen of Tripterygium hypoglaucum (a plant with poisonous nectar and pollen) was detected in 22 of 29 honey samples examined (75.9%). The results of pollen analysis were consistent with the clinical findings of previous cases. T. hypoglaucum appears to be the cause of honey poisoning in southwestern China. Honey poisoning should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients who consume honey in this region and develop symptoms of food poisoning.

PMID:
29644839
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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