Toxic wild mushrooms leave two men in critical condition
- (Photo: Associated Press)
We can understand the temptation to eat wild mushrooms. For one, they're free.They're also kind of fun to hunt. And who knows? Maybe you'll find the right ones to replicate that legendary, um, trip to Palenque, Mexico.
But unless you're experienced in mushroom taxonomy, we recommend you leave the wild ones alone, as they recently put two local men, in separate incidents, in critical condition.
"This is the first time I see mushrooms in my backyard," Frank Constantinopla, 49, of Springfield, Va., told MyFoxDC. "So I said [to myself] I was so lucky ... I will try it." He said he thought the mushrooms, which appeared after heavy rains, were "organic" and "a good mushroom."
The mushrooms (Amanita phalloides) were organic, yes, but are also known as "death caps." They're the world's "most dangerous" mushroom. Within hours of cooking and eating the mushrooms, the Philippines native was on the verge of liver failure. It took an experimental drug, flown in from California, to save him.
One week later, an 82-year-old Frederick farmer also got sick after eating the same type of mushroom, and was saved by the same drug.
UPDATE: Two women are currently being treated at Georgetown University Hospital after eating wild mushrooms picked in Northern Virginia, WUSA reports.
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