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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Watch for lethal Death Cap mushrooms after rain

Canberrans are being urged to keep a look out for lethal Death Cap mushrooms following heavy rainfall across the region.

The ACT Government expects sightings to increase due to the recent weather activity across the ACT, as the poisonous mushrooms are known to grow after periods of wet weather, often near established oak trees.

The ACT’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, urged Canberrans, and anyone visiting Canberra, not to pick or eat any wild mushrooms, and to purchase all mushrooms from a reputable supplier.

“There have been four fatalities and a number of poisonings associated with Death Cap mushrooms in the ACT since 2002,” Dr Coleman said.

ACT Health has issued a reminder to the public to keep children and animals away from the mushrooms as it is dangerous to touch the mushrooms with bare hands, while the mushrooms can be lethal if ingested. Cooking Death Cap mushrooms does not make them safe.

Symptoms of Death Cap mushroom poisoning include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms can subside after one to two days, giving a false sense of recovery; however, by this time serious liver damage will have occurred. Anyone who suspects they might have eaten a Death Cap mushroom, are advised to seek urgent medical attention at a hospital emergency department, and take the mushroom (in an airtight container) with you for identification.

The community is urged to report any sightings of mushrooms in public areas to Access Canberra via 13 22 81.

For more information on Death Cap mushrooms, visit the ACT Health website.

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