This summer has been rather damp and humid, creating a breeding ground for toxic mushrooms in New Jersey. The NJ Poison Control Center has confirmed 45 wild mushroom exposure cases between the dates of July 1- August 13, 2018.
Adults, pets, and even experienced mushroom pickers are at risk. It is unsafe to pick up and eat any mushroom found in the wild. Cooked or raw, wild mushrooms still possess the same threat if consumed. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, liver damage, and even death.
It is very important to seek immediate medical care if you believe you have been exposed. The NJ Poison Control Center is offering the following tips on potential mushroom exposure:
• Time is of the essence when it comes to mushroom poisoning. Do not wait for symptoms to appear or spend time searching the internet for next steps.
• Call the Poison Control Center’s Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, immediately to get the medical help or information you need. Our help is free and available 24/7 to NJ residents. The Poison Center may arrange for an expert to identify the mushroom.
• Remove any remaining parts of the mushroom from the person’s mouth and place those fragments and all mushrooms that are in the immediate vicinity of the incident into one or more paper bags (NOT plastic!).
• Take a digital photograph of the mushroom(s) in question. It helps to take a picture of the mushroom next to other objects such as a coin, ruler, etc. to provide a sense of scale.
For more information on this topic, please refer to @NJPIES and @NJPOISONCONTROLCENTER