At least 19 people, including eight children, in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous region of Tajikistan were poisoned by flour, in which a poisonous heliotrope plant was present. Fergana reported with reference to the spokesperson for the head of the region, Nilufar Aslamshoeva.
As noted, villagers of Pitut and Shitharv were brought to the hospital with a diagnosis «heliotropic hepatitis» on January 17. Two weeks later, on January 31, one of the sick — an 11-year-old boy — died.
The investigation found out that in August 2017 a local entrepreneur purchased 5.4 tons of wheat in Khatlon region of the Republic of Tajikistan. Later, he sold the grain to local residents, and they grinded it at a mill and baked bread. Experts believe that this wheat contained a poisonous weed.
At present, suspicious wheat was seized from the population. In return, the people were given flour from the state reserve. However, it is possible that some people, who have eaten poisoned bread, will get signs of poisoning in a few months.
- Heliotropic hepatitis — a kind of disease characterized by profound degenerative changes in the liver and other organs due to intoxication with seeds of the weed plant — heliotrope. The disease occurs in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, some regions of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Iran, India and other countries.