Mushroom blamed for mystery deaths in China

A five-year study has blamed an innocuous-looking mushroom known as "little white" for hundreds of mysterious deaths in south-western China.

No one knew what caused Yunnan Sudden Death Syndrome, blamed for an estimated 400 deaths in the past three decades.

Now an elite investigative unit from China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that the mushroom is responsible for the baffling condition, which strikes remote villages in the rural highlands of Yunnan province every summer. More than 90 per cent of the deaths occurred in July or August.