Mushroom poisoning on the increase / News / The Foreigner

Mushroom poisoning on the increase. Health authorities are warning mushroom-lovers to take extra care this season after a recent spate of potentially lethal poisonings. 20 people have been hospitalised in the last few weeks because of an innocent mistake. The white Amanita virosa fungus, commonly known as the Destroying Angel, looks like any other mushroom, but causes severe liver damage or death if left untreated. “People have often developed a serious illness by the time they show any symptoms. The patient has to be sent to hospital for treatment,” Professor Tarjei Rygnestad, chief physician at the Health Directorate’s Poison Information Centre (Giftinformasjonen) tells Aftenposten.

amanita, virosa, fungus, destroying, angel, mushroom, poisoning, liver, damage, fatal, illness, directorate, public, health



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Mushroom poisoning on the increase

Published on Monday, 6th September, 2010 at 13:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 6th September 2010 at 20:16.

Health authorities are warning mushroom-lovers to take extra care this season after a recent spate of potentially lethal poisonings. 20 people have been hospitalised in the last few weeks because of an innocent mistake.

Amanita virosa fungus
Amanita virosa fungus
Photo: Pellaea/Flickr


The white Amanita virosa fungus, commonly known as the Destroying Angel, looks like any other mushroom, but causes severe liver damage or death if left untreated.

“People have often developed a serious illness by the time they show any symptoms. The patient has to be sent to hospital for treatment,” Professor Tarjei Rygnestad, chief physician at the Health Directorate’s Poison Information Centre (Giftinformasjonen) tells Aftenposten.

The fungus has poisoned a growing number of foreigners in the last few years because appearances can be deceptive. For example, Thailand has a mushroom that looks very similar, according to the Directorate.

“Every week there are people suffering from mushroom poisoning who have to be admitted to hospital,” says Senior Advisor Barbro Johanne Spillum.

No fatalities have been recorded, but the Directorate has received over 400 enquires this autumn alone.

Press Officer Bente H. Steinnes tells The Foreigner she believes lack of knowledge about Norwegian mushroom species is partly to blame.

“I suppose our general information doesn’t reach people properly.”

No information in English is currently available on their website, but members of the public can ring 22 59 13 00 for advice.

"It isn't s wise to pick mushrooms without knowing what to look for," says Spillum.



Published on Monday, 6th September, 2010 at 13:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 6th September 2010 at 20:16.

This post has the following tags: amanita, virosa, fungus, destroying, angel, mushroom, poisoning, liver, damage, fatal, illness, directorate, public, health.





  
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