Local health authorities have issued an urgent warning after the sighting of death cap mushrooms in the Territory.
The potentially deadly fungi have started sprouting earlier than usual this year, likely due to the wet weather and milder summer temperatures.
It prompted ACT Deputy Chief health Officer Dr Miranda Harris to issue a warning to locals not to eat or pick any wild mushrooms.
“As the name suggests, death cap mushrooms can be deadly. All parts of the mushroom are poisonous whether they have been cooked or not.”
“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,” Dr Harris said.
Dr Harris has also warned the community not to touch wild mushrooms with bare hands and to keep children and animals away from them.
“If you think you may have eaten a death cap mushroom, urgently seek medical attention at a hospital emergency department and take any remaining mushroom to the hospital for identification.”
“Symptoms of poisoning generally occur 6-24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea – The chances of survival increase where treatment is started early.”
Since 2002, four people have died after consuming the mushrooms in the ACT.