Tuesday, September 26, 2006

1 Dies After Eating Cassava, 3 Others Hospitalized In Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 26 Sept) -- A child had died and three others were hospitalized after eating cassava cake in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, health officials said Tuesday.

Officials said they were investigating the case, but relatives of the victims claimed the four had eaten the cake two days ago in the village of Divisoria and later complained of difficulty in breathing and stomach pains.

The four children ages between 10 and 14 were rushed to hospital, but one had died.

"What we know was that they had eaten cake made from cassava and that one had died and the rest hospitalized," said Dr. Rodelyn Agbulos, the chief of the local health office.

A local radio station RGMA reported that the lone casualty was a ten-year old child of a farming family.

Last year, at least 50 people were also hospitalized for severe diarrhea and difficulty in breathing after feasting on pork stew cooked with cassava starch in the southern Philippines.

Most of the victims were teachers and parents attending a school meeting in the village of Alimbayong in Magpet town in North Cotabato province. The cassava root is widely consumed in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world, but it can also be poisonous if not completely peeled or thoroughly cooked.

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