The emergency service in Iran faced a challenge when over 700 people arrived at the hospital with poisoning after eating wild mushrooms. The emergency services spokesman, Mojtaba Khalidi, stated:
“The latest emergency statistics show that 721 people have been poisoned by poisonous mushrooms, of which 190 were hospitalized, 523 were cleared, and nine died.”
From the 190 hospitalized, over 50 victims from eight provinces in Iran are in critical condition. Many of the patients will require a liver transplant to survive.
Avoid Eating Wild Mushrooms, Especially From Street Vendors
Iran’s Ministry of Health stated that the spring rain in the mountains has contributed to increasing the number of wild mushrooms, warning people to “avoid eating wild and unfamiliar mushrooms.” People should not touch them because “skin toxicity is present in some species of fungi.”
The Yasuj University of Medical Sciences explained that it’s not easy to make a distinction between the toxic mushrooms and the edible ones.
Officials warn the public to stop buying mushrooms from street vendors. Clear signs of symptoms in case of eating poisonous mushrooms are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or severe dizziness. People are advised to keep hydrated and to immediately go to a health center.
The problem with wild mushrooms is that not many people can identify which are edible or toxic. You shouldn’t eat one without being 100% you know what it is.
Mushrooms that have white and thin gills are harmful. So are the ones with a skirt or ring on the stem. Poisonous mushrooms can have a bulbous cap or sac around the base. Keep away from red mushrooms. Some might be good, but it’s better to be cautious.
If you hear things like: mushrooms are safe if other animals eat it, or fungi that grow on trees are safe to eat, don’t go for it. It is not always true, and it is better to be safe than sorry!
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.