Foreign worker in serious condition due to mushroom poisoning, 2 others hospitalized

Three men cooked toadstools they found while hiking near Jerusalem; Chinese national connected to life support after condition rapidly deteriorates

Illustrative. A mushroom growing in a forest in Israel, January 17, 2022. (Mila Aviv/Flash90)
Illustrative. A mushroom growing in a forest in Israel, January 17, 2022. (Mila Aviv/Flash90)

Three foreign workers have been hospitalized, one in a serious condition, after making soup from mushrooms they found growing in a forest near Jerusalem, medical officials said Sunday.

The men apparently ate the mushrooms sometime last week. On Friday, two of the men arrived at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem with symptoms of poisoning.

Hours later, the third man, a 49-year-old Chinese national, arrived himself at Ichilov Medical Center Hospital in Tel Aviv complaining of feeling weak and nauseous.

The man brought along a photograph of the mushrooms that he and his companions had eaten, Walla reported.

His condition deteriorated as he suffered kidney failure and damage to his heart. The man became so ill that doctors connected him to an ECMO machine that was assisting his heart and lungs.

Intensive care doctor Andrey Nevo told Walla that the staff was surprised at how quickly the man’s condition deteriorated.

“It is hard to assess his chances of recovery,” Nevo said.

The hospital has contacted the other two men and is working to contact the seriously ill patient’s family in China, the report said.

There is no antidote to the poisoning and doctors were providing the patient with necessary support until the effects can wear off.

Nevo noted that Israeli medical teams have little experience with mushroom poisoning due to it being a rare occurrence in the country, and warned the public to not eat anything they are not familiar with.

The men had apparently eaten Amanita Proxima toadstools, Channel 12 reported.

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