Thai students hospitalised after death cap stew

A group of language students from Thailand are recovering in a Swedish hospital after making a home cooked meal with poisonous mushrooms. Despite consulting a book about the dos and don’ts of mushroom picking in Sweden, the 10 students still proceeded to make the mistake of picking poisonous fungi, possibly including the potentially-deadly death cap mushrooms while foraging for their dinner.

“They could have died,” said Urban Safwenberg, at the emergency healthcare services in the Uppsala University Hospital. “As it could be a case of poisoning we have taken all 10 in for care. Early intervention can be decisive to prevent fatalities if it concerns a death cap or fly agaric mushroom,” added Safwenberg in an interview with broadcaster TV4 Nyherterna Uppsala.

Soon after guzzling down their potentially lethal meal, the group experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Mushroom picking is a popular pastime at this time of year in Sweden and the country’s forests have produced a bumper crop in 2010. As the conditions are right for all kinds of mushrooms to flourish, however, poisoning incidents have also risen dramatically.

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