Santa Cruz warns of death cap mushrooms

January 1, 2008 3:46:59 PM PST
It's death cap mushroom season. Santa Cruz health officials are warning the toxic mushrooms sprout after rains and local mushroom gatherers should be on the alert.

Death cap mushrooms picked last New Year's Day at Wilder Ranch State Park killed a woman and made five other family members sick after eating tacos containing the fleshy fungi.

They were treated at Dominican Hospital where Dr. Todd Mitchell arranged for an unorthodox intravenous treatment of the milk thistle extract Legalon.

Dominican Hospital spokesman Mike Lee said charts with color photos have been posted in the emergency room to help patients identify the mushrooms they consumed.