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Nine People Die At Funeral After Eating Contaminated Food

A group of more than 50 people in a small village in Peru were attending a funeral, but things got even more grim as guests started getting sick. One by one, people were being struck ill and emergency services were called into the remote area.

Funeral guests were rushed to the emergency room of the local hospital, and many were evacuated to a bigger hospital. Police say the food was contaminated.

Dozens of people were struck ill by the tainted food, and nine have died. A report that a tenth person has died has not yet been confirmed. The people were eating food at a funeral in Ayacucho, a small village in the Andean region of Peru on Monday.

People who attended the funeral were taken in droves to the local small emergency room, then many were air-lifted to a hospital in Lima, Peru’s capital. In all, 52 people have reportedly had symptoms.

Investigators have tested the food and beverages being served at the funeral to try and determine what kind of contaminations might be causing the illnesses. The main dish was a meat dish, and people were also drinking a fermented corn drink known as 'chicha'. Apparently, the foods contained organophosphates, which are chemicals used in pesticides, according to the Health Minister Silvia Pessah.

Pessah reports that there have been at least two other incidents of organophosphate poisoning in the area in the last few months, and now authorities are investigating.

Prosecutors are taking samples of the food for further testing, according to the attorney general.

The youngest victim is a two-year-old girl, who was hospitalized for stomach pain but is expected to survive. Another struck ill was a pregnant woman, but she, too, is expected to live, as is her baby.

Unfortunately, the extent of the damage won't be known for a while. Organophosphates can cause neurodevelopmental problems and other birth defects.

The youngest victim to die from the incident was a 12-year-old child, and the oldest of those who died was 72.

Organophosphate poisoning can be extremely serious. In India in 2013, children at a school ate food contaminated with an organophosphate chemical known as monocrotophos. Some 23 children died from the contamination.

Gulf War Syndrome, a multi-symptomatic disorder affecting veterans and civilian Americans who were in the Persian Gulf during the 1990-1991 war, is believed to have possibly been caused by exposure to organophosphates.

The organophosphate sarin was used intentionally in Japan at least twice in terrorist attacks.

According to Healthline, some 25 million agricultural researchers every year suffer from organophosphate poisoning. Symptoms include blurry vision, water eyes, runny nose, headache, nausea, muscle weakness and twitching.

In more severe cases, patients may begin vomiting, have diarrhea, drool or have difficulty breathing. In the most severe cases, a patient may experience convulsions, extreme and uncontrollable bodily secretions, irregular heartbeat, respiratory arrest or sink into a coma.

Even those who survive the poisoning can suffer from lasting effects. Exposure may cause metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, pancreatitis, cancer, neurological issues, fertility issues or paralysis. The more exposure and the longer one goes without treatment, the more likely a patient is to have complications from the poisoning.

Source: AOL
Photos: AOL Screenshot

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