First mushrooming season serious poisoning cases present

Mushrooming season in Estonia (photo is illustrative).
Mushrooming season in Estonia (photo is illustrative). Source: Marju Männik/

Three people are currently in hospital in a serious condition after consuming poisonous fungi, having mistaken them for edible mushrooms.

Two of the patients require renal replacement therapy in addition to antidote administration, the Health Board says, such is the severity of the poisoning.

Mare Oder, head of the board's poisons center, said that noted that a lack of experience and knowledge was often to blame.

A species called white amanitas, which contain amatoxin and cyclopeptides, has been to blame in the case of the current poisonings.

Those who have consumed white amanitas often exhibit the initial symptoms of having been poisoned several hours after consuming the fungus, while symptoms can often not appear for a whole 24 hours, though consuming the species can prove fatal.

Activated carbon tablets in very large quantities should be taken in the first instance in cases of suspected poisoning, while a 24-hour hotline on 16662 must be called.

Even after apparently recovering from a bout of sickness relating to toxic fungi consumption, sufferers can experience liver and kidney damage and the recurrence of symptoms.

This year's mushrooming season has started slightly later than usual, as a result of the hot and dry summer.

Sites with advice on distinguishing poisonous mushrooms, also known as toadstools, from the edible types are here and here. Naturally, it is essential only to go mushrooming with a local expert.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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