ONE person died and 23 were hospitalised after eating poisonous fish in Kampong Cham province’s Batheay district late last week, officials said.
Lor Chanly, Batheay district governor, said 38-year-old Yorn Kourn died on Thursday after he and 23 other residents from two villages in Mepring commune were poisoned by puffer fish caught in a nearby lake.
I will take urgent action to ... tell [villagers] not to eat the fish anymore.
Touch Huot, superintendent of Batheay district referral hospital, where the villagers were treated, said Sunday that most of the patients – who had all suffered chest pains, stomach aches and diarrhoea – had recovered.
“Only two of the 23 hospitalised have not left the hospital yet, and they will be allowed to leave today because they are getting better,” he said.
Lor Chanly said it was the first time anyone had been poisoned by puffer fish in the district, and that he would warn people about the dangers of the fish.
“I will take urgent action to inform my villagers about this and tell them not to eat the fish anymore,” he said.
The poisoned villagers received free treatment at the referral hospital because they are all poor, Lor Chanly said.
“Normally, patients who are hospitalized for three days or more have to pay between 40,000 and 60,000 riels (US$14),” he said.
A 41-year-old resident of Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district died earlier this month after eating poisonous fish, but it is unknown what kind of fish it was.