Health Dept. Warns of Deadly Mushrooms

Friday, Dec 7, 2012  |  Updated 11:48 AM PDT
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With wild mushroom growth prompted by seasonal rains, the  California Department of Public Health issued a warning this week to  discourage consumers from precariously collecting and eating wild mushrooms.

According to the California Poison Control System, of the 1,602  cases of mushroom ingestion reported in California from January 2011 through  November 2012, five people died, 18 people suffered major health issues, and  30 people were admitted to intensive care units.

Among the most harmful mushrooms is the Amanita ocreata, also  known as the "destroying angel" or "death angel," which causes liver damage  and can lead to serious illness or death, according to the California  Department of Public Health.

Symptoms from eating poisonous mushrooms can include abdominal  pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage, according to the health  department.

Anyone who develops symptoms after eating wild mushrooms should  seek medical attention immediately and contact the California Poison Control  System at (800) 222-1222. 

Individuals planning to forage for wild mushrooms are encouraged  to seek out educational resources provided by local mycological societies and  can find more information at the North American Mycological Association's  website, www.namyco.org.

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