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Child rushed to hospital after eating a deadly ‘death cap’ mushroom in Canberra

Young child rushed to hospital after eating a deadly ‘death cap’ mushroom in Canberra – marking the second incident in just weeks

  • Child rushed to hospital after consuming ‘death cap’ mushrooms
  • Second time in just weeks child has been hospitalised after consuming the mushrooms
  •  The death cap is responsible for 90 per cent of all mushroom poisoning deaths

A young child has been rushed to hospital after consuming a deadly ‘death cap’ mushroom in Canberra,

The child was taken to hospital on Tuesday.

It’s the second time in just weeks the potentially fatal death cap mushroom has hospitalised a child.

 The death cap mushroom, also known as amanita phalloides (pictured), is a deadly fungus that is often mistaken for edible mushrooms

Acting Chief Health Officer Vanessa Johnston says it’s never safe to pick and eat wild mushrooms in the ACT.

‘This is an unfortunate reminder that wild mushrooms can grow anywhere in our region, at anytime, including at private residences,’ she said on Wednesday.

‘As the name suggests, death cap mushrooms can be deadly and all parts of the mushroom are poisonous, whether they have been cooked or not.’

‘Canberrans should remember that it is never safe to pick and eat wild mushrooms.’

It can be identified by its 40-160mm wide cap and is either white, or pale green and yellow in colour (pictured)

It can be identified by its 40-160mm wide cap and is either white, or pale green and yellow in colour (pictured)

The poisonous mushrooms can cause liver failure after 48 hours and cooking or drying them doesn’t make them edible. 

Other symptoms include violent stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea within 6-24 hours of ingestion.

Symptoms may disappear within one-to-two days giving a false impression of recovery which could then cause liver failure and eventually death.

The death cap is responsible for 90 per cent of all mushroom poisoning deaths.

The government inspects known mushroom sites weekly from February to June.

It urges anyone who thinks they’ve seen a death cap not to touch it, and to report its location via Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Death Cap Mushroom 

Amanita Phalloides 

The Death Cap Mushroom is a deadly, poisonous introduced fungus that is responsible for 90% of all deaths related to mushroom consumption. 

There have been 4 fatalities and 12 reported incidents of poisoning associated with Death Cap Mushroom in the ACT.

Description 

Cap: 40-160mm wide, may be white, but usually pale green to yellow in colour, or fawn if the mushroom is older, or located in full sun. The cap can be slippery or sticky to touch, and shiny when dry. 

Gills: White, crowded and not attached to stalk. 

Stalk: Normally white in colour, but may be pale green. Up to 15cm long with a papery cup shaped volva at the base (often buried in the ground). Normally a skirt-like ring is present high on the stem. 

Distinctive Features: The white gills, cup-like volva and high skirt like ring help to distinguish the Death Cap Mushroom.  

Symptoms  of poisoning

Onset of symptoms occurs 6-24 hours or more after ingestion of mushrooms. Symptoms include violent stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

Symptoms may subside for 1 to 2 days giving a false impression of recovery. 

However, by this stage the toxin will have already caused serious liver damage. 

Death from liver failure can occur many days after ingestion.  

Source: ACT Health 

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