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Kiev - Seven Ukrainians have died and another 95 have fallen ill after eating mushrooms, the health ministry said on Thursday.
The victims were poisoned in the last 10 days after collecting and eating mushrooms, the report said.
A total of 64 Ukrainians have died and 487 have been made ill by poison mushrooms since the beginning of the year, according to ministry's statistics.
The poisonings took place in regions across the country, but most often in the heavily-forested Vinitsia, Khmelnitsky, and Lviv regions.
This year poisonings are roughly double the rate in 2003, when by September's end 28 Ukrainians had died and another 246 received hospital treatment for eating the wrong type of mushrooms.
The report blamed the spike on a larger number of Ukrainians taking to mushroom gathering without proper knowledge of which mushrooms are safe and which are poisonous.
The overwhelming majority (some 97%) of people made ill by mushrooms had gathered the mushrooms as a free time activity, rather than doing so because they were unable to purchase food for themselves, the report said.
Wild mushrooms are considered a delicacy in Ukraine, and gathering them is a popular hobby, despite regular warnings of possible dangers. - Sapa-dpa