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Second Afghan child dies after eating poisonous mushrooms

A six-year-old Afghan boy evacuated from Kabul to Poland has died after eating poisonous wild mushrooms at the migrant centre his family were staying at near Warsaw, his doctors confirmed on Friday.

The day before, his five-year-old brother, who also ate the mushrooms, died in the same hospital.

The brothers were taken to Warsaw Children’s Memorial Health Centre in a critical condition with acute liver failure on 26 August, two days after they ate the mushrooms whilst staying in the migrant centre, which is located in a forest outside Warsaw.

The older brother had a liver transplant on Tuesday to try to save his life and although the operation was considered successful his condition deteriorated further in the last 48 hours.

His five-year-old brother had suffered irreversible brain damage and was unable to have a transplant.

A 17-year-old Afghan girl, reportedly from the same family, who also ate poisonous mushrooms, has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.

The family were among 1,024 Afghan citizens who worked with NATO forces in Afghanistan and were evacuated by the Polish military. Some media reports said the family ate the mushrooms because they were hungry, but the migrant centre said each family received three full meals a day. Police have launched an investigation into the poisoning.

Poland has 12,000 species of fungi and more than 250 are poisonous, some of which can be deadly.

Employees of migrant centres have been instructed to warn all foreigners not to eat wild mushrooms. Collecting mushrooms in the autumn is very popular in Poland and every year some Poles are hospitalised after eating poisonous varieties.

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