Precaution advised against wild mushroom poisoning

Writer: Tan Yaoquan  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-07

Experts from the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned citizens to avoid picking and eating wild mushrooms and other edible plants this season.

This season witnesses the vigorous growth of wild mushrooms and other edible plants, which often look healthy and appealing. They are popular in places like Wutong, Fenghuang and Yinhu mountains, and neighboring areas in the city. Some citizens would pick or buy some at farmers’ markets.

However, some mushrooms may be poisonous. According to experts, people who have eaten them may contract gastrointestinal ailments like nausea, vomiting, stomachache or diarrhea, or may show mental impairment like being jittery, suppressed, delirious or having hallucinations. Liver or kidney damage is also likely, with liver damage being the most critical since there is no effective treatment available at the time being. Treatment is very urgent and it has a high fatality rate.

Msuhroom species such as fool’s mushroom (Amanita verna), Hongo’s false death cap (Amanita pseudoporphyria) are the most popular in Shenzhen due to its humid climate.

According to experts, identifying poisonous mushrooms requires professional tools and personnel. Some common sayings such as “colorful and good-looking mushrooms are poisonous,” “mushrooms without maggots, which taste bitter or fishy and which insects don’t eat are poisonous” and “if the mushrooms are fried or cooked with silverware, and the onions and rice that go with it turn black, they are poisonous,” are not supported by scientific evidence.

Once signs of wild mushroom poisoning appear, or even if the victim doesn’t show signs, an ambulance must be called immediately. The victim must be covered in a blanket for warmth and those who ate the same mushroom must also seek medical attention.

In addition, if there are extra mushrooms, the victim or people close to the victim must take it with them so it could be properly identified, and appropriate treatment can be given.