Authorities have issued an urgent warning after four people died in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey after eating toxic blister beetles.
Following the deaths, on August 11, the Ministry of Health's Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) issued a stark public reminder to avoid consuming unknown insects or plants, as it can have deadly consequences.
According to the CDC post, "Four individuals in Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces have tragically died after consuming toxic blister beetles.
“Following ingestion, they experienced symptoms such as cold sores, blood vomiting, loss of consciousness, and blood in their urine. The irreversible damage to their kidneys ultimately led to their demise."
Preah Vihear’s provincial health department director, Kuong Lo, confirmed that the two people who died in Preah Vihear province were a married couple who worked at a farm in Choam Ksan district.
He said on August 4, the 56-year-old wife consumed five blister beetles. Her 58-year-old husband ate two. Lo added that the wife's symptoms were more severe, leading to her dying the next day at the provincial referral hospital.
Her husband has been transferred to Siem Reap Provincial Referral Hospital and is currently suffering from kidney problems.
The CDC is asking individuals to contact the 115 health hotline for more information.