Public Health Alert – Death Cap Mushrooms

Public Health Alert – Death cap mushrooms sprouting early in Canberra this year.

Due to wet weather and milder summer temperatures, death cap mushrooms are now sprouting earlier than usual this year. While we normally expect to see death cap mushrooms around March or April in the ACT, an early growing season is not unheard of.

Please be mindful and keep a close eye on children when visiting Stromlo Forest Park. Do not touch, pick or eat any wild mushrooms. Eating even a small amount of a death cap mushroom can cause death.

Death cap mushrooms are known to grow in areas across the ACT. While they often grow near established oak trees, they can also be found where no oak trees are evident.
It is very hard to tell a death cap mushroom apart from other types of mushrooms and can be easily mistaken for edible mushrooms. All parts of the mushroom are poisonous whether they have been cooked, dried, soaked or frozen.

Symptoms of poisoning generally occur 6 to 24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Anyone who thinks they may have eaten a death cap mushroom should go straight to the nearest Emergency Department. Do not wait for symptoms to appear – the sooner you get treatment, the better your chance of survival.

If you think a death cap mushroom may be growing in a public area, report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Source: ACT Health. For more information about the Death Cap mushroom visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-systempopulation-health/fact-sheets