Erica Jones

Virginia Family Sickened by Eating Wild Mushrooms

A family in Virginia was rushed to a hospital after they ate wild mushrooms and fell ill, officials say. 

Fire officials are warning residents about the dangers of picking the fleshy fungus.

The family in Annandale picked the mushrooms late last month from a courtyard near their apartment and used them to make a meal. A few hours later, the family started vomiting and having abdominal pains, fire officials say.

Wild mushrooms can look like something you'd find in a grocery store, but they can be deadly. 

"There are mushrooms that grow wildly in this area that can be incredibly toxic and can actually cause liver failure and death within a couple of days," Dr. Dan Avstreih of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said. 

Initially, the firefighters who responded to the scene had no clue what kind of mushrooms the family ingested.

To help the hospital determine how best to treat the family, firefighters combed through the courtyard of the family's home to find the mushrooms they ate. A crew split up and found two or three different types of mushrooms, fire and EMS department member Kendrix Merritt said. 

"It's kind of like a scavenger hunt, looking for an Easter egg," he said. 

Toxicology specialists identified the mushrooms as Green-spored Lepiota. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Green-spored Lepiota is a common mushroom but it can make you very sick. Fortunately, the mushroom does not cause liver failure or death.

Wild mushrooms also can be hazardous for pets. If you think your dog has eaten a wild mushroom, snap a phone, grab the mushroom and head to the vet. 

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