Georgetown doctors warn against eating wild mushrooms after recent rain
(AP, ABC7) - Mushrooms are sprouting up everywhere after recent rainy weather, but doctors at Georgetown University are warning against eating them after treating several people who fell dangerously ill from toxic mushrooms in the last two weeks.
Frank Constantinopla and his wife picked mushrooms from their backyard in Springfield, Va., to cook in a stir fry. Within hours of eating the fungi known as "death cap" mushrooms, they felt sick. His symptoms were worse and within days, he was suffering from the early stages of liver failure.
One week later, a retired farmer from Frederick, Md., fell ill with mushroom toxicity. Doctors were able to use a drug that's undergoing clinical trials and now both men are recovering.
Doctor say people should buy their mushrooms from legitimate farms or grocery stores.
Authorities announced Monday announced that two women also fell sick after eating mushrooms. A woman from Warrentown, Va. and her friend visiting from Thailand picked mushrooms from a farm near her home and then fell sick.
Both are being treated at Georgetown.
Doctors think the women ate Amanita bisporigera, also known as "Avenging Angel." These mushrooms are extremely toxic to the liver and sometimes patients who eat them are only saved by having a liver transplant.