Two teen girls now hospitalized in Wakapoa mystery illness


Two 15-year-old school girls from Wakapoa in the Pomeroon River, Region Two were admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) on Tuesday after they ate pepperpot and cassava bread. Two of their relatives have already died after eating the meal.

The girls were admitted to the Wakapoa Health Centre and were later transported by relatives to the Georgetown Public Hospital Tuesday after their condition worsened.

The News Room understands the two girls – Kishanna Thomas and Anasha Richards – are relatives of 38-year-old Selema Thomas and her father 76-year-old Edward Richards who have both died after eating the meal.

Selema died on June 17 while her father died Wednesday afternoon at the GPHC five days after he and other family members were hospitalised.

The entire family became ill after reportedly eating pepperpot and cassava bread on June 10. They experienced symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headache and fever.

It was also reported that three dogs from the family experienced the same symptoms and died.

Selema’s husband Richard Thomas, her brother Gavin Richards and father-in-law Oscar Phillips are also hospitalised.

The News Room was informed by relatives that a post mortem performed on Selema’s body Wednesday was inconclusive and samples were taken for further testing.

The relative further noted that doctors gave them a prescription to buy medication for cyanide poisoning.

Cyanide is released from natural substances in some foods and in certain plants such as cassava, beans and almonds.


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