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SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) - Five people have died after eating poisonous mushrooms in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas over the past week, doctors and hospital officials said on Monday.
Mushroom poisoning occurs sporadically among Chiapas' Indian communities, who harvest wild mushrooms as heavy summer rains arrive.
Poisonings have been reported in three separate incidents in recent days in the area of San Cristobal Las Casas, 460 miles southeast of Mexico City.
A 2-year-old boy died and a dozen more were sickened after a family meal in a small Indian community north of San Cristobal on Friday.
Three people were in critical condition and six were in serious condition on Monday at a hospital in San Cristobal, said hospital representative Eleazi Ramos.
Three others refused to be transported to the hospital from Polho, a reclusive settlement dominated by Zapatista rebels.
On Wednesday, a woman and her 10-year-old daughter died hours after eating wild mushrooms in the town of Copainala, Ramos said. And two other people died in San Cristobal on June 27 after a mushroom meal.
Death toll from poisonous mushrooms rises to nine in southern Mexico July 6, 2005 - signonsandiego.com
TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico - The death toll among Indians who ate poisonous mushrooms rose to nine Wednesday, after two more members of a family who consumed a toxic mushroom soup died at a hospital in the capital of southern Chiapas state.
The poisonings occurred in Polho, a desperately poor town populated largely be refugees and sympathizers of the leftist Zapatista rebel movement.
At least 11 people remain hospitalized for mushroom poisoning, some with severe liver damage.
Several mushroom poisoning cases occurred in the Chiapas mountains over the last week, as the fungi began appearing with the onset of seasonal rains.
The state government urged residents to avoid buying or eating wild mushrooms for the time being. But Gabino Perez, the local doctor in Polho, just outside the colonial city of San Cristobal, said many families turned to wild mushrooms as a food source because they were poor.
At least six of the nine deaths came among members of one family in Polho.
Relatives of the victims in that case said the family had picked and eaten mushrooms from the same spot, and with the same appearance, last year, without suffering any ill effects.
Poisonings have been reported in three separate incidents in recent days in the area of San Cristobal Las Casas, 460 miles (740 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.