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Poison Mushroom Warning

Poison Mushroom Warning

Death Caps Thrive in the North East

After the unseasonably wet summer and warm temperatures, wild mushrooms are thriving in the north east.

But locals are being urged not to pick and eat them.

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There are two main species of poisonous mushrooms that are growing wild in Victoria, and look quite similar to edible varieties: the yellow staining mushroom and the death cap mushroom (picture above).

They both can cause severe gut ache, diarrhea and vomiting, but the death cap mushroom can also cause fatal liver failure.

"One mushroom is enough to kill an adult, and obviously smaller amounts for a child or a pet," warns Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Angie Bone.

"If you have any doubts about a species of fungus or mushroom, don't eat it. Cooking, peeling or drying these mushrooms does not remove or inactivate the poison, and there is no antidote."

There was more than double the usual number of calls about mushrooms to Victoria’s Poisons Information Centre last year, and experts are concerned this year will see another big increase.

If you do suspect that somebody has eaten a poisonous mushroom, you are advised to take a photo or sample of it, so doctors can best understand which species they are dealing with.

More information about poisonous varieties can be found on the Better Health Channel here: betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fungi-poisoning.

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