CANBERRANS have been warned against picking and eating death cap mushrooms that can prove fatal.
The public alert has come about after the aptly-named mushroom have sprouted earlier this year than usual, likely through wetter weather during milder summer temperatures.
ACT Health are concerned the death caps are easily mistaken for edible mushrooms.
The wild mushrooms are commonly found near established oak trees in the territory.
“We not would normally expect to see death cap mushrooms in the ACT until March or April, but an early growing season is not unheard of,” Acting ACT deputy chief health officer Dr Harris said.
“As the name suggests, death cap mushrooms can be deadly.
“All parts of the mushroom are poisonous whether they have been cooked or not.”
Dr Harris has warned the public, but especially for children and animals, not to touch the death cap mushrooms with bare hands.
People should urgently seek medical attention at an emergency department and where possible take parts of the mushroom to the hospital for identification.
Symptoms of poisoning generally occur six to 24 hours – but can even take longer – after eating mushrooms that include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“The chances of survival increase where treatment is started early,” Dr Harris said.
“Eating wild mushrooms is just not worth the risk.”
Any persons who spots a wild mushroom in a public area can report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81. For more information about the death cap mushrooms can visit: https://health.act.gov.au/