Six people sickened after eating wild, poisonous mushrooms

Tuesday, August 24th 2004, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Health officials are urging residents to destroy any wild mushrooms that pop up in their yards after five children and an adult got sick from eating the toxic plants.

The children were treated at emergency rooms and the adult was hospitalized in Oklahoma City last week.

Oklahoma's unseasonably cool, wet summer has provided a perfect enviroment for toad stools to flourish in fields and under hardwood trees.

The ``amanita virosa,'' a wild mushroom found in Oklahoma, is known as the ``death angel,'' and can cause liver or kidney damage and death, said Lee McGoodwin, managing director of the Oklahoma Poison Control Center.

``Chlorophyllum molybdites'' also are found in Oklahoma, said Clark Ovrebo, a University of Central Oklahoma biology professor.

Children between the ages of 1 and 5 are especially at risk. Two- year-olds ``put anything in their mouths,'' McGoodwin said.

Forty-one Oklahomans have sought emergency care for poisonous mushrooms and 16 victims have been hospitalized this year.

Telephone calls to the Oklahoma Poison Control Center about people eating toxic, wild mushrooms increased last weekend, McGoodwin said.

``After ingesting a poisonous mushroom, most people will develop nausea and vomiting within six hours,'' McGoodwin said. ``Other early symptoms include stomach cramps and watery or bloody diarrhea. It takes longer for symptoms to develop with some of the most poisonous mushrooms.''