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Toronto Public Health issues warning after resident eats poisonous mushroom

Toronto Public Health (TPH) officials are warning the public about the dangers of consuming wild mushrooms after a city resident was hospitalized.

The person consumed mushrooms identified as “Amanita” (bisporigera species), which can be fatal.

In an email statement, TPH spokesperson Jennifer Veenboer said it “cannot comment on the condition or health status of the person who was hospitalized, as those details are considered personal health information.”

In a release, Dr. Howard Shapiro, associate medical officer of health at TPH, said “some varieties may look like mushrooms that are safe to consume, but are in fact poisonous.”

Wild mushrooms can be found in backyards and parks, as well as rural areas. Some species of mushrooms mature in late November.

“While it may be tempting for some residents to forage for wild mushrooms, it can be difficult to determine if mushrooms growing in the wild are edible or poisonous. Our advice is to not take the risk,” said Dr. Margaret Thompson, medical director of the Ontario Poison Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Symptoms associated with eating poisonous mushrooms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. More severe symptoms sweating, convulsions, hallucinations and coma. Some of the symptoms may take a few days to develop.

Anyone who has health questions or concerns can call the Ontario Poison Centre at (416) 813-5900 (in Toronto) or 1-800-268-9017 (outside Toronto).