Health officials have warned Thais that they could die within 30 minutes if they eat wild toad. This response comes from a doctor after this week’s report of two elderly men in Nan dying after eating a grilled toad that they found outside after a heavy rainstorm.
Dr. Opas Kwangawinpong, Deputy Director General of the Disease Control Department, spoke out to explain what caused the death of the two older men, as well as how a younger man and two children also got ill from exposure to the same deadly toad.
He said that toads are poisonous amphibians, and that they have poison glands near their necks, just under the skin. Poison is also usually circulating in the toad’s eggs, intestines and blood. This poison is a natural defense that keeps the nearly-defenseless toads from being eaten by predators.
If a human was to ingest this poison, they would suffer from vomiting, have trouble breathing, and could quickly lose their lives. If one doesn’t die, it would be in their best interest to force themselves to vomit up what they have eaten and go to the hospital.
“I have no advice for people who want to safely eat wild toads, because I strictly advise against eating them in the first place,” Dr. Opas said, “The poison will spread to your veins even faster if you consume alcohol with it.” The men who died in Nan were drinking when they ingested the toad.
He said that there are antidotes for some poisons, but not all. It’s also worth noting that there is not always a backup supply of antidotes for every kind of poison at every local hospital, since they are quite expensive.
Dr. Opas said that there is no antidote for wild toad poison as of this moment, because of how intense the poison is. It would immediately affect the heart, killing the person in 30 minutes, just like the poison from box jellyfish.
Although eating toads is not as common as frogs and rats, two to three people in Thailand die each year from consuming poisonous toads, while 10 people die every year from porcupine fish. This is nothing compared to the hundreds of people who die each year from eating poisonous wild mushrooms, reported Daily News.