The Region

An alien from Mexico was near death in a San Diego hospital eight days after eating poisonous wild mushrooms that killed his three companions over the weekend. Jorge Favela, 31, a farm worker, was in a coma and in "very critical" condition, a Mercy Hospital spokesman said. The four field workers told hospital workers they picked the mushrooms near Escondido and ate them a week ago Sunday night. They became progressively ill, with vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, and began coughing up blood. Three of the men died Saturday of kidney and liver failure, the coroner's office said. Officials at the San Diego Regional Poison Center said they believe the men ate Amnita-group mushrooms, known as "Death Caps," the most dangerous type known. Such mushrooms are not native to San Diego County, but experts said wind-bound spores could have started growing. The deaths are the first on record in the county from eating mushrooms.

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