www.austin.org.au/poisons or call 13 11 26 will provide all the advice on what people need to do.

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Dr Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and Dr Teresa Lebel, Senior Mycologist: Victorian’s need to be aware of death cap mushrooms and other poisonous mushrooms now because we are essentially in the season of those mushrooms. With autumn, and cooler weather and some rain, we’ve seen them begin to sprout around Melbourne and they’re potentially deadly. 

For more information on the death cap mushroom and other poisonous mushrooms, people can go to the Poisons Information Centre. Obviously, if they’re already feeling very unwell they need to call Triple zero (000) and get to hospital.

The Poisons Information Centre, visit www.austin.org.au/poisons or call 13 11 26 will provide all the advice on what people need to do.

The Better Health Channel also has a fact sheet containing more information on Mushroom poisoning.

Dr Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer: Victorian’s need to be aware of death cap mushrooms and other poisonous mushrooms now because we are essentially in the season of those mushrooms. With autumn, and cooler weather and some rain, we’ve seen them begin to sprout around Melbourne and they’re potentially deadly.

Dr Teresa Lebel, Senior Mycologist: We have several different kinds of poisonous mushrooms that fruit in Victoria. The main one in particular that we’re trying to warn people about at the moment is the ‘death cap’ or amanita phalloides.

It’s deadly toxic. A piece the size of a 20-cent piece can kill you. The death cap is mycorrhizal, which means it has to form an association with the roots of oak trees, hazelnuts and chestnuts.

It’s a symbiosis - it’s actually beneficial to the tree, but the fruit body of that particular mushroom contains the deadly toxin.

One of the problems with the death cap in particular, is that it can look very similar to some of the young stages of edible mushrooms as well.

Dr Sutton: If someone eats a death cap mushroom they’re going to be very unwell. The initial symptoms are: severe stomach pains and cramps, nausea, womiting and diarrhea. Those symptoms can settle over a couple of days, but then organ damage can still occur event as those symptoms are settling, and liver failure, kidney failure can occur leading to intensive care requirements.

Dr Lebel: The other poisonous mushrooms that occur here in Victoria that we find in 80 per cent of the cases that we deal with are the Yellow stainer (Agaricus xanthodermus) which is one that causes you to be very uncomfortable for a few hours after eating it.

For more information on the death cap mushroom and other poisonous mushrooms, people can go to the Poisons Information Centre. Obviously, if they’re already feeling very unwell they need to call Triple zero (000) and get to hospital.

The Poisons Information Centre, visit www.austin.org.au/poisons or call 13 11 26 will provide all the advice on what people need to do.

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