They’re pretty and tempting, like something from a fairy tale.

But with monikers like “Death Cap,” and “Destroying Angel,” there’s nothing magical about the deadly pair of wild mushrooms that are now sprouting up in yards, parks and hiking trails across the Golden State.

“Telling the difference between wild mushrooms that are safe and those that are poisonous can be difficult for many people,” said Dr. Karen Smith, public health director for the California Department of Public Health, which released an advisory released Thursday. “Wild mushrooms should not be eaten unless they have been examined by a mushroom expert and determined to be edible.”

Health officials are particularly concerned about two kinds of mushrooms that can cause extensive liver damage: The Amanita phalloides also known as the “death cap” features an umbrella like cap while the Amanita ocreata or “destroying angel,” includes a flatter beanie atop a longer, white stalk.

image003 (1)
The most serious illnesses and deaths have been linked primarily to wild mushrooms known to cause liver damage. They include Amanita phalloides (shown here), also known as the “death cap.” (Photo courtesy of Trent Pearce, Tilden Nature Area)

Health officials said a bloom of death caps last winter “resulted in 14 mushroom poisonings in (Northern) California that required hospitalization.”

Three of these cases required a liver transplant, health officials added.

The fancy looking fungus thrive in cool weather and moisture and may look good to eat. But besides liver damage, eating poisonous, wild mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, or death, health officials warned.

The California Poison Control System reported 1,038 cases of poisonous mushroom ingestion from November 2016 to January 15, 2018, health officials said.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Among those cases:

•522 people were treated at a health care facility.

•16 people suffered a major health issues, including liver failure leading to coma.

•433 were children younger than six years of age.

Animals are also vulnerable to the health effects of wild mushrooms, veterinarians said.

Health officials said anyone who develops symptoms after eating wild mushrooms should immediately contact the California Poison Control System at 800-222-1222.

[contf] [contfnew]

daily news

[contfnewc] [contfnewc]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here