Toxic mushrooms are flourishing

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WARNING: Some species are poisonous

Deadly mushroom varieties lepiota brunneoincarnata and Amanita phalloides are widespread in the Valencian Community.

They are not limited to mountainous areas and can be found most often in urban areas, and have even been found in the gardens of the Technical University of Valencia, where there are many lepiotas. Experts are advising the general public about safety precautions. The lepiotas and phalloides mushrooms are benefiting from the spongy ground, ideal temperatures and rainfall, and so it is a good season for the mushrooms.

However, precautions must be taken since there are a number of these mushrooms that are deadly, and they are becoming widespread throughout the province. They can easily be mistaken for other edible mushrooms, which are also present in the community. Both of the species mentioned have similar side-effects; once ingested they may induce vomiting, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis, problems accompanied by dehydration, and can be fatal.

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The symptoms can surface from eight to 24 hours after eating. Although after the third day the symptoms may seem to have disappeared, it is on the fourth day that victims can fall into a coma and a liver transplant is needed. Ultimately the mushrooms can kill.

It is recommended never to pick or collect mushrooms without the presence of an expert. The Mycological Society at the university in Valencia has organised talks to educate people on the distinct species and how to recognise them, in particular the deadly toxic varieties.

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