By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit – ACT Health
Canberrans are being urged not to pick or eat wild mushrooms, with more Death Cap mushrooms found in the ACT.
With the recent wet weather, the extremely poisonous mushrooms have been found in several locations across Canberra.
And they can be difficult to distinguish from edible ones.
“While death caps are generally found in and around oak trees, we really have that very simple message for safety reasons to not pick or eat wild mushrooms at any time of year, but particularly at this time of year, when death cap mushrooms are around,” ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly, said.
“Even a teaspoon full of death cap mushroom can be lethal to adults.”
Symptoms, like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, usually occur within six to 24 hours of ingestion.
They can also be deadly.
“Unfortunately after a few days is when the lethal effects occur and liver failure is one of the ways this happens and can indeed cause death,” Dr Kelly said.
Since 2002, there have been four deaths related to Death Cap mushrooms in the ACT, and several poisonings.
Anyone who suspects they may have eaten Death Cap mushrooms, is urged to go to hospital as soon as possible.
“There is treatment available, but it is only effective if given very soon after ingestion,” Dr Kelly said.
Locals are also being urged to share the dangers of Death Cup mushrooms with those who are new to Canberra and might not know much about them.
For more information, check out this Fact Sheet.