Tasmanians are being warned not to eat wild mushrooms with incidents of people consuming wild mushrooms increasing dramatically this year.
The New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, which takes calls from NSW, Tasmania and the ACT, has received 58 mushroom related calls this year from Tasmania up from just eight calls over the same period last year.
Those 58 calls related to 44 different individual cases, 25 of which required medical attention.
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Senior Specialist in Poisons Information Genevieve Adamo said the seven-fold increase in calls from Tasmania was alarming.
"We are really worried about the number of people, particularly adults, who are ingesting wild mushrooms and need people to heed the warning that mushrooms found in the wild, even if this is their own backyard, are not safe to eat," she said.
"For children, mushroom ingestion is often accidental but for adults we know that ingestion is usually intentional, either from experimental use or from using mushrooms in cooking.
"What people don't realise is that this could be deadly."
Ms Adamo said only a trained mycologist could tell the difference between a mushrooms which are safe to eat and those that are poisonous.
"There are many different types of mushrooms, may are toxic, some are edible and it is very difficult to determine for mushrooms growing in the wild which ones are safe to eat," she said.
"Only a trained mycologist is able to be absolutely sure which are the safe mushrooms to eat.
"From the beginning of February to the 10th of May we have certainly seen a big increase in mushroom exposures compared to previous years in Tasmania."
She said eating wild mushrooms can have a variety of impacts on somebodies health.
"There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by a poisonous mushroom; commonly nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, confusion, there can also be hallucinations with some mushrooms and there are some varieties that can cause kidney and liver injury," Ms Adamo said.
"I would certainly not be encouraging anyone to be picking and eating mushrooms from the wild."
The ACT have also experienced an increased volume of incidents with calls to the Poison Information Centre more than doubling.
Ms Adamo said anyone who ingests a wild mushroom should contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.
She said they should make contact even if they feel fine because symptoms can have a delayed onset and early treatment is vital.
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