Seven men from Lenoir County were hospitalized after they had all eaten from the same watermelon at a local farm. Although incident is still under investigation, it appears that all seven men were poisoned by pesticides from the same farm in Lenoir County where they became severely ill after ingesting the fruit.
Lenoir County Health officials tell us the seven men live and work at J.C Howard Farms, where they were allowed to plant their own gardens. The victims told officials they became ill after sharing a watermelon from the garden for lunch. There is still no clear understanding as to what pesticide or toxic substance has caused this reaction to these Lenoir County men.
Joey Huff, Director of Lenoir County Health Department says, “I think it’s important for people to understand how dangerous pesticides can be if not used properly. Our information for the public when you purchase a pesticide, follow the label and any questions, contact your local cooperative extension. Every county has a local office; you can find their contact information on your counties government website.” It appears all seven men responded well to treatments and have been discharged from the hospital.
Pesticides and other toxic substances can cause immediate pain and in sometime even death after ingestion if proper medical treatment is not found quickly. It is true that some toxins and poisons can leave lasting effects to your overall health.
If you suspect that someone has been poisoned, call your Poison Control Center or EMS immediately. Signs of poisoning are: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest or abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, changes in consciousness, seizures, or burns around the lips or tongue or on the skin.
If you believe someone may have swallowed a poison, try to determine what type of poison was ingested, how much was taken, and when it was taken. If you find a container, bring it to the telephone with you when you make your emergency call. Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink unless medical professionals tell you to. If you are unsure of what the poison was and the victim vomits, save some of it so that the hospital may analyze it and determine what the poison was.