Canberrans have been warned to be careful of Death Cap mushrooms, as we enter the peak period for the highly poisonous fungus.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman warned Canberrans against picking and eating any wild mushrooms in the territory.
Death Caps look similar to edible wild mushrooms, but poisoning from can cause liver damage and death.
The poisonous mushrooms are known to grow near oak trees but can also be found in areas without oak trees.
Dr Coleman expected there would be an increase in the number of Death Caps mushrooms in the ACT going into autumn.
"We had an early growing season this year due to mild summer temperatures, but autumn is usually the peak growing period," Dr Coleman said.
"All parts of the Death Cap mushroom are poisonous, whether they have been cooked or not."
Dr Coleman said people should not touch the mushrooms with their bare hands and should keep children and animals away from Death Caps.
She said anyone who believed they might have eaten a Death Cap mushroom should go to the emergency department even without symptoms of poisoning. People should take any remaining mushrooms to the hospital, if possible, to assist identification.
"Symptoms of poisoning generally occur six to 24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea," she said.
"The chances of survival increase when treatment is started early."
"Do not take the risk and don't eat mushrooms you have found in the wild. All mushrooms should be bought from a reputable supplier."
In 2012 the mushrooms killed two Canberra residents who ate them at a dinner party on New Year's Eve and in 2014 they seriously poisoned four others.
Canberrans can report sightings of wild mushrooms in public areas by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
For more information about Death Cap mushrooms go ACT Health's Death Cap Mushrooms fact sheet.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: