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Warning not to eat wild mushrooms after spike in poisonings in NSW


[Release date]2019-04-04
[Core hints]At least eight people in NSW have been admitted to hospital after being poisoned by wild mushrooms in the past week, pro
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At least eight people in NSW have been admitted to hospital after being poisoned by wild mushrooms in the past week, prompting a warning from authorities.
 
The NSW Poisons Information Centre said five of those were the result of intentionally eating mushrooms foraged from fields. The other three were children who accidentally picked them and decided to try them.
 
"If not properly identified, mushrooms picked in the wild can make you very ill and could be lethal, so people should only eat shop-bought mushrooms," co-head of the centre Genevieve Adamo said on Wednesday.
 
"Cooking or boiling wild mushrooms does not make them safe to eat," she said.
 
"Poisonous mushrooms can cause severe abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea,
sweating, confusion and hallucinations. Some varieties of mushrooms can cause severe
kidney and liver damage, and some can be fatal."
 
Recent rain across NSW has created perfect growing conditions for wild mushrooms, but it is difficult for most people to distinguish between edible and poisonous varieties.
 
Some poisonous mushrooms in Australia look similar to edible wild mushrooms in Europe.
 
"There are many mushroom species growing in the wild including the death cap mushroom
for example, which can cause serious poisoning and potentially fatal organ damage," Ms
Adamo said.
 
"There is no reliable way to identify mushrooms picked in the wild, so it’s best to avoid eating
them completely. It is simply not worth the risk."
 
Last year, the centre received 218 calls about wild mushroom exposure and 70 people were admitted to hospital with poisoning.
 
Almost 40 calls were made in the past week.
 
The last death was in Canberra in 2014.
 
Anyone who eats wild mushrooms should contact triple zero or the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) immediately, even if they feel completely well as symptoms can be delayed and
early treatment is vital.
 
 
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