Hospital reports outbreak of mushroom poisoning cases

Hospital reports outbreak of mushroom poisoning cases

Cases of mushroom poisoning have skyrocketed locally.

University Hospitals officials report that they have had more cases of mushroom poisoning this week than in the last 10 years - a total of 12, with three currently in the hospital. Normally, they see one case every four or five years.

More patients are expected to arrive today from Toledo, where a family of five foraged wild mushrooms and ate them in soup.

Dr. Pierre Gholam said the increase might be due to a climate change making the mushroom growing season longer, as well as a proliferation of poisonous mushrooms. Gholam says you could forage for mushrooms 10 years ago but not now.

UH doctors want to get the word out to the public that people should not be foraging for wild mushrooms. It is not safe and can cause liver failure and only a half mushroom could cause death due to toxicity.

The type of mushroom is the toxic Amanita species but it is hard to tell them from other mushrooms so they want to warn people not to forage at all.

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