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'Highly poisonous' mushroom found in Boise

Death cap mushroom
Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 19:23:39-04

A "highly poisonous" mushroom that causes most deadly mushroom poisonings was recently found in Boise.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced a death cap mushroom was reported to the Idaho Division of Public Health after an amateur mycologist found it in a Boise neighborhood under an oak tree. A DNA test confirmed the identification.

Now, health officials are warning it may be in other areas undetected.

The mushroom, which looks like most edible mushrooms, causes most deadly mushroom poisonings worldwide, according to the IDHW. As little as half a mushroom is enough to kill an adult and a small portion can kill pets, according to IDHW. Cooking the mushrooms does not make them safe to eat.

Symptoms of death cap mushroom poisoning include persistent and violent vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea 6-24 hours after eating the mushroom. The early symptoms can last a few hours, followed by an apparent recovery with no symptoms for a few days, but can later lead to jaundice, loss of strength, coma and death due to liver and kidney failure, according to IDHW.

Officials say early treatment is critical.

There are several poisonous mushrooms in Idaho, so officials urge people not to eat any mushroom that has not been identified by an expert. If someone believes they or a child has been poisoned, call the poison control center at 800-222-1222 immediately, call a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room. If a pet ate a wild mushroom, owners should call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at 888-426-4435 or go to an emergency vet clinic.

To help prevent the mushrooms from spreading, anyone who sees them in their yard should remove them before mowing by pulling the mushroom low on the stalk and pluck from the soil. IDHW says there is no evidence to show touching the mushroom is dangerous, but people should wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly as a precaution. The removed mushrooms should go in the garbage and not in any composts or wood chip containers.

Photos can be submitted to officials online to help track and prevent the spread.