Turtle meat is a local delicacy on the island of Pemba, which is part of the autonomous part of Tanzania – Zanzibar. Some time ago, however, the authorities banned eating this specialty. In some cases, eating turtle meat can lead to food poisoning known as chelonitoxism.
They poisoned themselves with turtle meat. A 3-year-old child is dead
BBC News reports that the cause of the poisoning is the toxic algae that the turtles eat. The substances they contain are harmless to animals, but can be fatal to humans.
At least five families on Pemba Island ate turtle meat last Thursday, local police chief Juma Hamis told BBC News.
The effects of the heavenly feast were visible the very next day. A 3-year-old child died first. A few hours later, two people were confirmed to have died. Another four died on Sunday.
A total of 38 patients were admitted to the hospital with symptoms of poisoning. Most of them were discharged home. The cases of three people were so difficult that it was decided to continue hospitalization. Currently, their condition is stable.
Zanzibar. Seven people are dead after eating turtle flesh. The president expresses his condolences
The president of Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, spoke on the matter. On Twitter, he expressed his condolences to the victims of poisoning.
I am asking for understanding for the relatives of the victims of this tragedy – he appealed.
The case of turtle poisoning is not an isolated case. In Madagascar, 19 people, including 9 children, died in March after eating a delicacy. BBC News notes that similar situations also occur in Indonesia and Micronesia.
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