A Hong Kong man developed dizziness, numbness and shortness of breath around five minutes after consuming honey at home on March 25 in what has been diagnosed as a case of so-called “mad honey” poisoning.
The 37-year-old was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on the same day for treatment. He discharged himself, against medical advice, the next day and is reported to be in stable condition, Sing Pao reported.
An Initial investigation by the Center for Health Protection showed the honey contained grayanotoxin, a neurotoxin that can affect nerves and muscles, and has earned the epithet “mad honey” in the Black Sea region of Turkey where cases have been reported of people falling ill after eating honey.
The toxin comes from plants belonging to the Ericaceae family, including rhododendrons, from which bees collect nectar and pollen.
The Hong Kong man said the honey he ate was from Nepal and he bought it from a friend. Investigations are ongoing, Oriental Daily reported.
The Center for Health Protection advised the public to buy honey from a reliable source, discard honey with a bitter or astringent taste, and pay special attention to honey from Nepal and the Black Sea region of Turkey.