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One dead, 16 hospitalized after Mexican curandero injects patients

Oaxaca, Mexico — One person has died and 16 others hospitalized after a self-claimed natural healer injected patients with a substance, he said, would relieve them of pain.

The curandero, or traditional native healer, has been offering the unidentified substance through injections in the indigenous community of San Isidro Zoquiapam in Oaxaca where he promises his patients the injection will relived all their pain.

The head of Oaxaca State Health Department, Celestino Alonso, explained that in the alleged case of poisoning, a health contingency was activated in conjunction with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which also treated several of the intoxicated residents.

The state Attorney General’s Office was notified about the case so that it could open the corresponding investigation to begin the search for the alleged healer who supplied the substance, which has yet to be identified, to San Isidro’s inhabitants in the municipality of San Lucas Zoquiapam.

According to patients, on November 6, a white-coated individual presented himself as a naturopathic doctor and offered them a medication in red bottles “to cure various diseases”.

Those interested allowed him to inject the substance into the gluteus, which, later, caused severe inflammation and muscle numbness.

One of the injected, an adult man, died at the regional hospital where he was admitted. Four others were reported as being critical, while several others were placed on medical surveillance.

Among the critical patients are a child, two young people and one adult who suffered from abscesses in the gluteus where they injected the unknown toxin.

The Ministry of Health reported that patients had focal poisoning and a generalized infection in the area of the gluteus injection site, which caused septic shock.