Mushroom poisonings on the up this year in the Netherlands
So far this year, at least 28 people have become ill after eating mushrooms they had picked themselves. This is a huge increase compared to around the same time last year when only 11 people suffered from mushroom poisoning, according to the National Poisons Information Centre (NVIC).
Mushroom poisoning reports
In September this year, there were already nine reports of poisoning. A few of these patients even developed serious symptoms, like liver failure! This month, the mushrooms have been popping up out of the ground like nobody’s business and the number of poisoning cases has risen aggressively. And it is no wonder; the mushrooms have had the perfect weather to thrive, with plenty of rain after a warm summer and thus a high level of humidity.
Many internationals poisoned
A great deal of those poisoned has a non-Dutch background, according to NVIC. Unfamiliarity with Dutch mushrooms could have led to them confusing a poisonous Dutch mushroom with an edible variety from back home. The NVIC advises against picking wild mushrooms, as there are some highly toxic ones in the Netherlands.
The most lethal of the Dutch mushrooms is the amatoxin-containing species, like the death cap a.k.a. Amanita phalloides. If you eat this mushroom, it’s likely you won’t experience symptoms until six to 24 hours after ingestion.
When they do finally kick in, you’ll experience abdominal cramps, vomiting and severely dehydrating diarrhoea. The symptoms will seem to lessen if you are somewhat hydrated; all the while the toxin is attacking your liver. Without proper and prompt treatment, liver failure can occur and, in some cases, lead to death.
Death cap mushroom