Too dry for mushrooms - hardly any poisoning so far
In late summer, a warning about dangerous fungal poisoning is issued every year. But the dry weather of the past few weeks has meant that mushrooms are hardly growing at the moment. Therefore, poisoning has so far hardly been registered.
Few mushrooms grow due to drought
Just a few weeks ago, due to the weather, a real paradise for mushroom pickers was predicted for this year, especially in the south of the republic. Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml said in a message: "Experts are expecting a significantly better mushroom season for Bavaria this year compared to the dry year 2015." However, it currently does not look that way in the north. Due to the drought hardly any mushrooms grow there. As a result, there is also less fungal poisoning.
September most important for mushroom pickers
According to a message from the dpa news agency, the co-chief of the Gift Information Center North (GIZ-Nord) in Göttingen, Andreas Schaper, said that only “very few cases” had been registered so far.
“Most cases occur every year in late summer. There are also big differences between individual years, ”says the GIZ-Nord website, which also contains a graphic of the mushroom cases from early 2009 to late August 2016.
As Schaper explained, in recent years, with more than 200 suspected cases in some cases, September was the month with the most actual or suspected fungal poisoning in northern Germany. "If it rains now, the numbers will soon increase significantly this year," said the expert. September is the most important month for mushroom pickers.
An unusual number of poisonings in June
According to Schaper, there was an unusually high number of fungal poisonings in June this year. According to this, around 75 suspected cases were reported to GIZ-Nord, about twice as many as in “normal” years for this month. “When it's damp and warm, the mushrooms grow. Then there will be a lot of poisoning, ”explained the specialist. If mushrooms thrive less due to the relative drought, the number of cases of poisoning will also decrease.
Eating tuber agaric can be fatal
According to Schaper, the consumption of tuberous leaves most often leads to poisoning. The poison can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In severe cases, it can attack the liver and even destroy it completely.
"The tuber agaric is a fungus from which people can also die," warned the expert. Although there were no deaths this year, “We already had suspected cases. Last with a child. "
Hard to distinguish from poisonous varieties
According to the information, there have been repeated deaths in Northern Germany in the past few years after the erroneous consumption of tuberous mushrooms. In 2015, a mushroom collector from Bremerhaven was killed. In the Lüneburg Heath there was an express warning of toxic tuberous mushrooms.
There is a particular danger for refugees from Syria, since there are edible mushrooms that can hardly be distinguished from the toxic variety in Germany. A 16-year-old Syrian refugee died in Münster last autumn, who had accidentally consumed tuber agarics. If poisoning is suspected, those affected must be taken to a hospital where they can be given an antidote, said GIZ expert Schaper. (ad)