Death Cap Mushrooms
The Death Cap mushroom (Amanita Phalloides) is a deadly poisonous fungus. They often grow near established oak trees, and are found when there is warm, wet weather. In Canberra this usually occurs in autumn but there is no specific mushroom season. There have been multiple incidents and fatalities associated with Death Cap mushrooms.
It can be extremely difficult for even experienced collectors to distinguish Death Cap mushrooms from an edible mushroom. People should not pick or eat wild mushrooms, and should talk to their families, friends and neighbours about the dangers of Death Cap mushrooms. Cooking Death Cap mushrooms does not make them safe.
Symptoms of Death Cap mushroom poisoning generally occur 6–24 hours or more after ingestion of mushrooms and include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Symptoms may subside for 1–2 days giving a false impression of recovery. However, by this stage the toxin will have already caused serious liver damage. Liver failure and death may occur.
Anyone who suspects that they might have eaten Death Cap mushrooms should seek urgent medical attention at a hospital emergency department. Where possible take a whole mushroom sample for identification. The sooner the treatment begins, the better the chances of survival.
Further information and assistance if poisoning is suspected can be sought by calling the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).
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