ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has warned that death cap mushrooms are now being spotted in increasing numbers in the ACT, most likely due to the unusually wet and cool summer weather.
“Death cap mushrooms can easily be mistaken for edible mushrooms but they can be deadly,” Dr Coleman said.
“All parts of the mushroom are poisonous and cooking them does not make them safe to eat.”
While death cap mushrooms often grow near established oak trees, they can also be found where no oak trees are evident.
Dr Coleman reminded the community not to touch the wild mushrooms with bare hands and to keep children and animals away from them.
“If someone may have eaten a death cap mushroom, urgently seek medical attention at a hospital emergency department and take any remaining mushroom to the hospital for identification,” she said.
“Symptoms of poisoning generally occur six to 24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“The chances of survival increase if treatment is started early.”
The ACT has seen four deaths and a number of poisonings associated with death cap mushrooms since 2002.
Anyone who sees a death cap mushroom in a public area, can report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
For more information about the death cap mushroom visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/fact-sheets