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7193: At least 38 people die in Haiti after consuming fruit (fwd)
From: nozier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At least 38 people die in Haiti after consuming fruit March 1, 2001
Web posted at: 11:35 AM EST (1635 GMT)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- At least 38 people, most of them
have died recently in Haiti's northern province after prematurely
consuming an otherwise edible fruit, Radio Metropole reported
Thursday. Their death was caused by eating unripened ackee, said
Health Minister Michaelle Amedee Gedeon, who expected the number would
swell when the ministry finishes the investigation.
The fruit is consumed widely in other parts of the Caribbean, but the
meat that envelops the seeds is only edible when the 3-to-4-inch
(7-to-10-centimeter) pods are allowed to open naturally. Eaten
prematurely, it causes a drop in the level of blood sugar that may be
fatal. The victims probably ate the fruit on empty stomachs, Gedeon
About 62 percent of Haiti's 8 million people are undernourished, making
of the three hungriest countries in the world, according to a U.N.
Most of the fatalities were children, Gedeon said. They lived around
Milot, a small town near Haiti's second-largest town Cap-Haitian, about
80 miles (130 kilometers) north of the capital. A similar outbreak
occurred about 10 years ago, she said.