With wild mushroom growth prompted by seasonal rains, the California Department of Public Health has issued a warning to discourage consumers from precariously collecting and eating wild mushrooms.
According to the California Poison Control System, of the 1,602 cases of mushroom ingestion reported in California from January 2011 through November 2012, five people died, 18 suffered major health issues, and 30 were admitted to intensive care units.
Among the most harmful mushrooms is the Amanita ocreata, also known as the "destroying angel" or "death angel," which causes liver damage and can lead to serious illness or death, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Symptoms from eating poisonous mushrooms can include abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage, according to the health department.
Anyone who develops symptoms after eating wild mushrooms should seek medical attention immediately and contact the California Poison Control System at (800) 222-1222.
For more information, check the North American Mycological Association's website.