Man vomits blood, dies after consuming poisonous beetle

By Thuy An   July 15, 2022 | 01:49 am PT
Man vomits blood, dies after consuming poisonous beetle
A blister beetle. Illustration photo by Shutterstock
A 72-year-old man in the northern Son La Province died after consuming blister beetles, which could be poisonous.

Doctor Me Thi Xuan, head of the intensive care medicine and clinical toxicology department of Son La General Hospital, on Thursday said the patient was hospitalized while in shock and experiencing convulsions, respiratory failure and vomiting blood, among other symptoms.

Despite constant treatment, the patient died after two days under intensive care.

The species of blister beetles he consumed was Cantharis vesicatoria. They contain cantharidin, a burn agent and poison. One to two beetles could be lethal for humans, destroying numerous organs like the stomach and intestines if consumed as food.

"Physical contact alone, like catching the beetles directly by hand or even inhaling them is enough to cause severe allergies, especially for those with vulnerable skin and open wounds," Xuan said, adding the death rate could be over 50 percent.

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