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Death Cap Mushroom New Year

January 4, 2012 by staff 

Death Cap Mushroom New Year, The warning comes after the deaths of two people in Canberra who ate death caps on New Year’s Eve.

While no death cap mushrooms have been reported in Tasmania, the State is home to many other types of that fungi could kill or make those who eat them very sick.

David Ratkowsky, an honorary research professor at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, said that only about one-third of the State’s estimated 3000 mushrooms had been formally identified.

Local mushroom pickers have been caught out in the past.

In July last year, a young man collapsed after eating mushrooms and was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

He almost lost his kidneys and the dog who shared his exotic meal died.

In December, 1985, two fishermen came ashore at Fortescue Bay, collected mushrooms and then made a meal of a nondescript yellowish-brown species called Cortinarius eartoxicus.

“One ate a lot and a week was taken to the Launceston General Hospital suffering kidney failure,” Dr Ratkowsky said.

After several weeks on dialysis he received a transplant.

The other fisherman, who only consumed a small amount of the fungi, recovered quickly and took a UTAS researcher to the site where the mushrooms were picked so more could be gathered for scientific study.

They were found to contain orellanine which is known to cause renal damage in humans.

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