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Warning Issued After Spike In Wild Mushroom Poisonings

Eight people were hospitalised with a mushroom-related illness in NSW within a week, while 39 ingestion-related calls were made to The NSW Poisons Information Centre.

The recent wet weather has created the perfect growing conditions for mushrooms, but it's near impossible to spot the edible among the fatal.

In Australia, there are some deadly mushrooms -- including the common death cap mushroom -- that look very similar to those found in Asia or Europe.

It has prompted calls for NSW residents to eat store-bought mushrooms only.

“There is no reliable way to identify mushrooms picked in the wild, so it’s best to avoid eating them completely," Genevieve Adamo, Co-Head of the NSW Poisons Information Centre said.  "It is simply not worth the risk.”

If a wild mushroom is ingested, symptoms can be so severe that if left untreated, could lead to fatal organ damage.

The catch is, the symptoms can be delayed, so it is vital that treatment is sought immediately.

We're being urged to eat store-bought mushrooms (L) and to avoid wild mushrooms (R) completely IMAGE: AAP

“Poisonous mushroom can cause severe abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, confusion and hallucinations,"  Adamo said. "Some varieties of mushrooms can cause severe kidney and liver damage, and some can be fatal.”

In 2018, there were 218 calls to the Poisons Information Centre about wild mushroom exposure, and 70 people were hospitalised from poisoning.

Death Cap mushrooms were also spotted in the ACT in recent weeks, prompting health authorities to issue a similar warning.

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Anyone who eats a wild mushroom is being urged to contact the Information Centre on 12 11 26 immediately, even if they are feeling well.

In an emergency, people should call Triple Zero.