San Francisco health authorities said that two people have been hospitalized after drinking Chinese tea poisoned with aconite.
San Francisco health authorities reported that two individuals were hospitalized this week after consuming poisoned tea acquired from a Chinatown vendor. Blood tests revealed that the purchased herbal tea contained traces of aconite, a poisonous compound, which can induce life-threatening heart-related symptoms.
Dr. Tomas Aragon, the San Francisco Health Officer, cautioned the public to refrain from purchasing and consuming herbal tea from the Sun Wing Wo Trading Co. shop located in Chinatown. The health officer said that in late February, two people were hospitalized after consuming the same herbal mixed purchased from the shop.
According to the hospital records, the victims were a 50-year-old man and 30-year-old woman. Aragon said that both patients exhibited the same life-threatening symptoms, an hour after drinking the herbal mix – heart palpitations and severe weakness.
After being hospitalized, the doctors discovered that their blood contained traces of aconite, a poisonous compound which can induce death in two to six hours if not detected. Prompted by the discovery of the poisonous compound, the San Francisco health authorities seized the suspicious merchandise belonging to the Sun Wing Wo Trading Co. in Chinatown.
Dr. Aragon declared that, at the moment, the shop’s owner is collaborating with the health authorities in order to discover the origin of the tainted tea leaves. However, up to this point, they were not able to verify from where the mixture came from.
Meanwhile, the two hospitalized victims have been stabilized, and are being kept under observation. For the time being, the San Francisco health authorities cautioned the general public to refrain from acquiring any tea leaves from the Chinatown shop. Furthermore, health officer added that all those who bought tea leaves from the shop should refrain from consuming them.
However, if someone purchased and drank tea from the Sun Wing Wo Trading Co. in the past month, he or she should immediately consult a physician regardless of their condition. According to the doctors, not all patients experience symptoms after consuming the herbal mix, which makes it more threatening, since there is no known cure for aconite poisoning.
Dr. Tomas Aragon, the county’s Health Officer, declared that anyone feeling heart palpitation, weakness or numbness in the face, mouth, and legs after consuming the tea leaves should immediately go to the hospital.
Although aconite is commonly used in Traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate certain symptoms, the flower can be deadly if it’s not correctly processed. The experts said that even a few drops of aconite could kill an adult in two to six hours.
Image source: Pixabay