CONCORD, N.H. -- The state Department of Health and Human Services is warning residents to be cautious when eating wild mushrooms after seeing an increase in mushroom-related emergency room visits.
Public Health Director Dr. José Montero said most previous emergency room visits involved young children and young adults, but recent cases have involved people of all ages.
The health department said eight ER visits were attributed to wild mushroom consumption in 2009, and the number increased to 11 in 2010. That number is already at 31 this year, with 18 occurring in September.
The department recommends children not eat any wild mushrooms, and adults who eat them should first make sure they are safe to eat.
There is no approved treatment for mushroom poisoning, according to the health department.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, severe diarrhea, a change in heart rhythm and low blood pressure, and they may not begin until hours after consumption.
The department warns that many toxic mushrooms look a lot like non-toxic ones, and mushrooms are more abundant with the recent wet weather.