Toxic mushroom kills Chinese woman in Australia

An employee harvests mushrooms at a processing facility in India. A woman reported to be visiting Australia from China has died after eating a toxic Death Cap mushroom (not pictured) -- the third such fatality in the southern nation this year. © AFP/File Sam Panthaky

SYDNEY – A woman reported to be visiting Australia from China has died after eating a toxic Death Cap mushroom — the third such fatality in the southern nation this year.

The woman, aged in her 50s, died Friday at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, two days after being admitted with severe poisoning due to ingestion of the fungi, which resembles the Paddy Straw mushroom, a popular delicacy in Asia.

Doctors at the hospital said the woman, who was of Chinese descent, fell ill after eating a meal containing mushrooms picked in a local park.

She is the third person to die in Australia from eating the silky, white-green tipped Death Cap mushroom this year, after a Chinese chef and his kitchen-hand died in January after mistakenly eating the toxic fungi.

All parts of the Death Cap mushroom are poisonous and eating just one can be fatal. About half of all people who eat them die of organ failure.

The Death Cap is native to Europe, where it is widespread, and it can also be found as an introduced species across North and South America, in Australia and in parts of Africa.





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