Canberrans urged to avoid all wild mushrooms

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Dr Coleman urges Canberrans and anyone visiting Canberra not to pick or eat any wild mushrooms.

CANBERRANS are being warned to not eat or pick any wild mushrooms after this year’s first death cap mushrooms have been spotted, says acting ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman. 

There have been four deaths and a number of poisonings associated with death cap mushrooms in the ACT since 2002.

“It is crucial for people to understand that all parts of the mushroom are poisonous and cooking them does not make them safe to eat,” Dr Coleman says. 

Dr Coleman urges Canberrans and anyone visiting Canberra not to pick or eat any wild mushrooms, and to purchase all mushrooms from a reputable supplier.

She says death cap mushrooms are known to grow in the ACT, often grow near established oak trees, and warns the community not to touch the mushroom with bare hands and to keep children and animals away from them. 

“If you think you have eaten a death cap mushroom, seek urgent medical attention at a hospital emergency department and take any remaining mushroom to the hospital for identification,” she says. 

“Symptoms of poisoning generally occur six to 24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“The sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of survival.”

Anyone who finds a mushroom in a public area, can contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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