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Health officials: Poisonous tea bought in San Francisco kills one

Andrew V. Pestano

1815427267_116_251_169_33_18_1490227056_gs_.png.jpgThe San Francisco Department of Public Health said a woman who was poisoned after drinking herbal tea that contained aconite from an herbalist shop has died.

Herbal tea purchased in San Francisco's Chinatown, at the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company, poisoned two people who were hospitalized separately in February and March, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said. The woman poisoned in the February incident died on Saturday. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Department of Public Health             
The woman died on Saturday after being poisoned by the tea in February. A man also became ill after drinking team from Chinatown's Sun Wing Wo Trading Company in March. In the separate incidents, both became "critically ill" within an hour of drinking the tea purchased at the shop, the health department said.

"Each quickly developed weakness, and then life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, requiring resuscitation and intensive hospital care," the health department said in a statement earlier this month when first announcing the poisoning. "A plant-based toxin, Aconite, was found in lab tests of the patients and the tea samples they provided."

The man who was ill recovered and was released from the hospital on March 12. San Francisco officials did not identify those who became ill.

"Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately," Dr. Tomás Aragón, the health officer for the city & county of San Francisco, said in a statement. "Aconite poisoning attacks the heart and can be lethal."

The health department said those who consumed the tea and experienced no symptoms are safe but should not consume any more of the possibly poisonous substance.

Symptoms include numbness or tingling of the face, mouth or limbs, weakness in the limbs, paralysis, chest pains, slow or fast heart beat, and other cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues.

"There is no antidote for Aconite poisoning. Aconite is commonly called monkshood, helmet flower, wolfsbane, 'chuanwu,' 'caowu,' and 'fuzz,' and is used in Asian herbal medicine to treat pains, bruises and other conditions," the health department said. "Raw Aconite roots are generally toxic but are used only after adequate processing."
Health officials: Poisonous tea bought in San Francisco kills one Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 5:02 PM Rating: 5

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