A nine-year-old girl was killed and six people were hospitalized after eating pufferfish in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on Thursday.
Nguyen Thi Dung invited her neighbor, Hoang Van Luong, and her family over to dine on a pufferfish her husband caught during a fishing trip.
Eight members of the two families ate the lunch.
At around 2pm, Luong began suffering from headache and nausea; Dung and her four children began vomiting and gradually fell into a coma.
Nguyen Thi Oanh, Dung’s 9-year-old daughter, reportedly died.
The other victims were hospitalized.
Dung’s two daughters and son recovered after a day of treatment.
Hundreds of deaths caused by pufferfish, which contains the lethal substance, tetrodotoxin, have been reported in Vietnam over the years, prompting local health authorities to issue numerous warnings against the deadly fish.
Despite the warnings, many Vietnamese fishermen persist in believing it's safe to eat, as long as they remove its internal organs and skin, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang.
The study found that, of the 17 species of pufferfish that live in Vietnamese waters, eight carry enough of the toxin to kill 30 adults.
It is estimated that there are more than 120 species of the fish worldwide.
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