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Ex deputy PM of Australia Michael McCormack falls ill after consuming Kava during visit to Pacific Islands

MicronesiaEdited By: Sneha SwaminathanUpdated: Dec 16, 2022, 07:11 PM IST
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Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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After consuming the traditional drink, McCormack was evidently uncomfortable putting his head in his hands. He was then taken to a hospital, where he reportedly received dehydration therapy.

Michael McCormack, former deputy prime minister of Australia, became unwell after consuming some kava (a ceremonial drink in the Pacific islands) while on a diplomatic trip to Micronesia. McCormack felt ill on Wednesday while attending formalities at the FSM Congress. When given a bowl of kava (Sakau), the shadow minister for the Pacific "struggled to digest" the traditional beverage, as reported by Seven News.

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Before needing help to get to his car, McCormack looked evidently uncomfortable putting his hands on his head. He was then taken to a hospital, where he reportedly received dehydration therapy.

On Thursday McCormack took to Twitter saying he was "feeling much better now."

"In a bid to show my respect to local traditions I drank the whole bowl of Sakau," he said.

"Feeling much better now and it’s been a great chance to connect with our Pacific family in FSM."

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In the Pacific Islands, the root is traditionally crushed and then steeped in water to make a beverage used for ceremonial, recreational, and therapeutic purposes.  Although kava is not typically used in Australia, it was introduced to communities in the Northern Territory during the 1980s as  a substitute for alcohol. 

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