Harmless Variety of Mushroom Has Turned Toxic and is Spreading Fast

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  February 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM Environmental Health
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Mushroom lovers must now be careful with the otherwise innocuous variety of mushroom that has turned toxic and is spreading fast.

Aptly named 'Death Cap', this variety is now on every continent except Antarctica.
 Harmless Variety of Mushroom Has Turned Toxic and is Spreading Fast
Harmless Variety of Mushroom Has Turned Toxic and is Spreading Fast

This fungus is spreading rapidly across the globe and it looks and smells a lot like a number of edible species of mushroom.

A little amount of 'Death Cap' (Amanita phalloides) can result in death and it can be hard to even diagnose patients properly in time, said a report in the Slate magazine.

The death cap doesn't taste remotely like death - many people who are poisoned claim the mushroom was the most delicious they've ever eaten.

But scientists have now found an antidote to this.

S. Todd Mitchell of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz in California and colleagues have treated more than 60 patients who ate this mushroom variety and got sick, with a drug derived from milk thistle.

Every patient who still had intact kidney function and was started on the drug within 96 hours of eating mushrooms has lived.

"The drug has virtually no side effects, it's very well tolerated, and if used correctly, it's awesomely effective," said the report.

Source: IANS

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