Australians warned of huge number of deadly mushrooms sprouting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-05 09:13:56|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

SYDNEY, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The world's deadliest mushrooms have been sprouting in unprecedented numbers across Australia's Victoria state, health authorities warned on Friday.

Above-average rainfall has created perfect conditions for the death cap mushroom and yellow-staining mushroom to spawn in "huge numbers" across the state.

So perfect are the conditions for the lethal fungi that both species will outnumber the edible mushrooms that are sprouting across the state.

Health authorities have issued warnings to new migrants, exchange students and Australians interested in foraging for their own mushrooms that the lethal species look and taste similar to safe varieties.

"One mushroom can be fatal, these are strong toxins in these mushrooms," Victoria's chief health officer Charles Guest told reporters on Friday.

"The yellow-stainer causes gastro-intestinal upset, a very bad stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. That is an illness that usually lasts two to three days.

"The death cap mushroom causes an initial illness, an initial tummy upset, and then after two to three days as the liver gets affected by the poison, liver failure and then sometimes death."

"If you have any doubts, don't eat it."

Tom May, a senior mycologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, said there was nothing that could be done to make either variety of mushroom safe to eat.

"There is enough in the fruiting body of a death cap to kill someone, it is a very nasty toxin. It is not inactivated by cooking. It basically attacks the liver and stops it functioning," May said.

"The death cap would be the most dangerous mushroom in the world. This causes more fatalities worldwide than any other mushroom."

The most recent death from mushrooms in Australia was in 2012 when two people were poisoned after eating death caps at a dinner party.